Aluminum maker cutbacks will cost port jobs, revenue

Herald staff

EVERETT — A Montana aluminum manufacturer has dramatically cut production because of energy costs in a move that will also reduce revenues and jobs at the Port of Everett.

Columbia Falls Aluminum Co., which imports the raw material alumina through the port, notified officials there it has cut production by about a third. If those cutbacks where to last a year, it would cost the port $300,000 and significantly reduce work for longshoremen.

"They’re a player for us," port director John Mohr said of Columbia, adding they were the third biggest customer next to the Boeing Co., which imports 777 fuselages, and log exporters.

Columbia said it had made the cutbacks suddenly at the request of federal power officials, who were seeking to ensure the Northwest doesn’t have a power shortage.

  • Tuesday prices: Gold sold for $270.75 a troy ounce, silver sold for $4.075 and platinum sold for $619.60.

  • Weyerhaeuser offer spurned: The board of wood products maker Willamette Industries Inc. recommended Tuesday that shareholders reject a hostile $5.4 billion offer from rival Weyerhaeuser as inadequate. Duane McDougall, the Portland-based company’s president, called Weyerhaeuser’s $48 per share offer "an opportunistic attempt to acquire one of the industry’s leading franchises when stock prices in the industry are depressed."
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