New Zealand Aluminum Smelter (NZAS) nearly doubled the Tiwai site closure and cleanup budget.

The company announced yesterday that it had increased the remediation and closure provision in its 2021 financial results to $687 million, nearly double the $352 million included in last year’s results.

NZAS Chief Executive and Managing Director Chris Blenkiron said the provision represents identified costs related to site remediation activities such as waste disposal, including spent cathode coating (SCL), demolition of site infrastructure and relocation of the landfill after a possible smelter closure.

The costs had been updated based on the details provided in the recent preliminary closure study.

“We are committed to remediating the site whether or not we continue to operate beyond 2024. This updated layout assures our community that we are putting the right plans in place.

“In the meantime, work is already underway to eliminate waste as part of our commitment to continue improving our environmental performance.”

Rio Tinto’s wholly-owned subsidiary Pacific Aluminum (New Zealand) Ltd, majority owner of the smelter, released financial results related to its stake in NZAS, which showed underlying net profit of $140 million for the smelter. ‘last year.

“This result highlights the unpredictability of the market environment. The year 2021 has seen a strong improvement in the aluminum market after two years of difficult conditions.

“While we are pleased with the result, as aluminum prices, a widely traded commodity, are subject to fluctuations, and we expect continued volatility due to the continued impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. , supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures on consumer demand,” Blenkiron said.

In February, the company announced that it wanted to continue operating beyond its previously reported shutdown date of 2024, but there was no update on that. Many options are explored for the site.

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