May 16, 2019 / 5:21 AM / 10 days ago

Brazil court lifts one of two embargoes on Norsk Hydro plant

OSLO, May 16 (Reuters) - A Brazilian federal court has lifted one of two production embargoes on a key plant owned by Norwegian metals maker Norsk Hydro, but output remains curtailed at 50% of capacity, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Following a spill of untreated water in February 2018, courts and regulators restricted the production of Hydro’s Alunorte alumina refinery, a key supplier to the aluminium industry.

“The Federal Court in Belem, Brazil, lifted the production embargo on Alunorte under the civil lawsuit on Wednesday ... Alunorte is still subject to a production embargo imposed by the same court in a parallel criminal lawsuit,” Hydro said.

“Alunorte is expecting an extension of the civil decision to the criminal case shortly ... (but) will continue to produce at 50% capacity until the production embargo under the criminal case is lifted,” the company added.

A restart of Alunorte would allow Hydro to ramp up production at its nearby Albras aluminium smelter, and to immediately boost profits, which suffered during the outage, the company’s chief executive said recently. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by Richard Pullin)

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