The management of Aluminium Pechiney's Auzat plant in Ariege, France, a Pechiney Group subsidiary dedicated to the production of aluminum, decided for safety reasons to suspend the activity of the plant's smelting workshop operations on March 19. This measure follows several electrification incidents and accidents that occurred in the smelting workshop. The employees concerned by the stoppage will be asked to take vacations or be assigned temporarily to other tasks in the Auzat plant or other aluminum production units. The plant's closure, for economic reasons and because of the obsolescence of its technology, is planned for the summer of 2003. This closure project is the subject of an information and consultation procedure with employee representation bodies, which began on January 29, 2003, and will continue according to the planned schedule.
Pechiney's website is located at http://www.pechiney.com .