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NORANDA BAUXITE & ALUMINA

“WITH A NEW OWNER AND FOCUS, WE HAVE A NEW PATH TO LONG-TERM SUSTAINABILITY.”

A NEW DAY Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to John Habisreitinger, Executive Vice President at Noranda Bauxite & Alumina, about surviving the worst year in North American alumina for half a century and a new path forward towards long term sustainability under new ownership. For almost sixty years, the Noranda Alumina refinery in Gramercy, Louisiana, based just upriver of New Orleans in South Louisiana, has been a major employer in the region. The same holds true for the Noranda Bauxite mine and plant in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, located for fifty years on the island’s north coast between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. “I’m second-generation, myself,” says John Habisreitinger, Executive Vice President at Noranda Bauxite & Alumina, whose father retired from the refinery after 40 years, having also worked 18 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

closely with the Jamaican operations in the latter years of his career. “Many of our current employees’ parents and grandparents have worked at our facilities, and you seldom meet someone in our communities that hasn’t had a family member that has worked at one of the facilities. It’s one of the unique things about our businesses that we have drawn so heavily from the local communities for generations.” The Gramercy refinery employs close to 450 people, using the Bayer process to chemically refine bauxite and convert it to

smelter-grade alumina and chemical-grade alumina. When the facility was built in 1957, the 3,300 acre site had an annual output of 400,000 short tons of alumina. Today, the refinery has an annual capacity of 1.2 million metric tons from the approximately 2.8 million tons of bauxite shipped in from the approximately 400 employee Noranda Bauxite facility in Jamaica. Until early 2016, much of the smelter grade alumina produced at Gramercy was shipped up the Mississippi River to a then-related smelter in New Madrid, Missouri, where it was converted

Sustainable Business Magazine 04/17  

Sustainable Business Magazine

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