Alcoa to close Elizabethton extrusion plant

Alcoa announced today that it would close its aluminum extrusion plant in Elizabethton by the end of June 2002 because of slow demand in the soft alloy extrusion industry.
   The plant closing will affect 240 salaried and hourly employees. Alcoa will offer a severance benefit and career transition services. The closing was announced to employees today during meetings at the plant.
   Ronee Hagen, Alcoa Vice President and President, Alcoa Engineered Products, said: "This was an extremely difficult decision to make. The closure is a result of overcapacity in the extrusion market and the need to restructure to meet competitive conditions in our industry."
   Operations General Manager Wes Oberholzer said, "Our efforts in the weeks and months ahead will be focused on ensuring our employees have the resources and tools needed to obtain employment within the community."
   Products produced at the plant are aluminum extrusion used in the automotive construction, distribution and industrial products markets. To help meet customer needs, the majority of products will be transferred to other Alcoa North America facilities.
   The plant, which began operation in 1970, has had several owners over the years including, JARL, Alcan, Cressona, and Alumax. Alcoa purchased the facility in 1998 as part of the Alumax acquisition.