A statement by Alcoa has sealed the fate of its aluminum smelter in Warrick County. Officials say to increase the competitiveness of its Upstream business amid prevailing market conditions, which included a 30 percent drop in aluminum prices, Alcoa will permanently close its 269,000 metric ton Warrick Operations smelter near Evansville by the end of the first quarter 2016. By the end of the second quarter 2016, the Company will reduce alumina production by one million metric tons, which includes curtailing the remaining 810,000 metric tons of refining capacity at its Point Comfort operations in Texas. The rolling mill and power plant at Warrick Operations will continue to operate. “We recognize how deeply this decision impacts employees and we are committed to work closely with our employees, unions and community stakeholders to support them through this transition,” said Roy Harvey, President of Alcoa’s Global Primary Products. “Despite the hard work of employees, these assets are not competitive. We’re confident that these actions are the right ones in face of these challenging market conditions. We are committed to creating a resilient business ready for launch as an independent company in 2016.” Alcoa will separate into two, industry-leading publicly traded companies in the second half of 2016 – an Upstream-focused company including its Mining, Refining, Smelting, Energy and Casting businesses, and a Value-Add company including its Global Rolled Products, Engineered Products and Solutions, and Transportation and Construction Solutions businesses.