Intalco Works and the Bonneville Power Administration means job security for nearly 650 workers at the aluminum smelter.
“This deal helps protect working families in the state of Washington,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire during the ceremony. “It also provides economic vitality during a needed time for the state.”
Alcoa has been trying to secure a long-term energy deal with BPA since the early 2000s. The 2000-01 West Coast energy crisis shuttered many of BPA’s industrial customers, mostly large aluminum smelters, due to reduced power and high energy costs. Since then, Intalco Works has had short term contracts with BPA but no long term deal. The new contract provides Intalco Works with 300 average megawatts of power over a 10-year period. As part of the 10-year deal, Alcoa will invest $35 million in capital improvements over the next seven years to increase productivity and product efficiency.
Intalco Works, which started operation in 1966 and has been an AWB member since that time, has a capacity of 279,000 metric tons per year. The company says that along with 640 family wage jobs created at Intalco, the operation supports approximately $118 million in personal income in Whatcom County, $5 million in local taxes, $240,000 in annual charitable contributions and thousands of hours volunteered each year by Alcoa employees.U.S. Representative Rick Larsen, D-Everett, summed up the contract. “Aluminum made in America. Jobs made in America. That’s what this deal represents.”