Operational challenges arising from soaring energy bills have put the entire US industrial complex at risk of partial shutdown, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.
The country’s second-biggest aluminum mill, which accounts for 20% of the national supply, reportedly laid off 600 workers in late June after its electricity bill tripled. Century Aluminum announced plans to leave its Hawesville mill idle for as long as a year, taking out the biggest of its three sites in the US. Meanwhile, the country’s largest aluminum producer Alcoa said it was cutting its production by a third at a mill in Indiana.
At least two steel mills have started to halt some operations in a bid to minimize energy costs, an unnamed industry executive told the agency. In May, a group of factories across the US Midwest warned the country’s energy regulators that some enterprises were on the brink of shutdown for the summer months or longer due to “unjust and unreasonable” electricity costs.