UPDATE 1-Norsk Hydro to stop Brazil alumina output, shares plunge
(Adds detail about output, updates share)
OSLO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Norsk Hydro will halt production at the world's largest alumina refinery, Alunorte in Brazil, which has been operating at half capacity since March due to an environmental dispute, the company said on Wednesday, sending its shares down 13 percent.
The decision also triggered a shutdown of its Paragominas bauxite mine, which supplies Alunorte, and could have consequences for aluminum output at the nearby Albras plant as well as other Hydro facilities, the company said.
"While it is too early to determine the full impact, the decision to close Alunorte and Paragominas will have signifi cant operational and financial consequences, potentially also for Hydro's primary aluminum portfolio, including Albras," it said in a statement.
The Alunorte refinery made 6.4 million tonnes of alumina in 2017, equivalent to about 10 percent of global production outside China. Its partial shutdown earlier this year drove up market prices.
The original output cut was made after the company admitted making unlicensed emissions of untreated water during heavy rains.
The decision to halt production was taken as the refinery's waste deposit area is close to full capacity and its conflict with authorities is preventing Hydro from using a newly created residue facility, the company said.
Hydro was not available for immediate comment. (Editing by Jason Neely)