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Ferndale smelter closing, hundreds face layoffs

Around 700 people face unemployment due to Intalco Works shutting down in Ferndale.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The Intalco Works aluminum smelter in Ferndale is shutting down and its workforce of around 700 people will be "significantly reduced," parent company Alcoa announced in its first quarter report.

The curtailment is expected to be complete by July 2020. 

The smelter recorded a net loss of $24 million in the first quarter of 2020, with aluminum prices dropping.

“While our employees have worked diligently to improve the facility, the smelter is uncompetitive, and current market conditions have exacerbated the facility’s challenges,” said Alcoa President and Chief Executive Officer Roy Harvey. “This is difficult because of the impact on our employees, and we will ensure appropriate support as we work to safely curtail the facility.”