Timeline: Alcoa on the Yadkin | North Carolina | Indy Week
Pin It

Timeline: Alcoa on the Yadkin 

⇒ See main story, "Give back the Yadkin, dammit"

Fueled by Andrew Mellon's fortune, Alcoa came to dominate the aluminum industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, following the invention in 1885 of the electrolytic process that made aluminum smelting highly profitable. Alcoa bought bauxite mines across the South, controlling the basic material from which aluminum was extracted. It also bought river rights where it could, using hydropower to produce electricity—the other key ingredient in the smelting process—more cheaply than anyone else.

That's how Alcoa set up shop on the Yadkin River:

1915: When World War I breaks out in Europe, Alcoa purchases an unfinished smelting plant in Stanly County from a French rival, L'Aluminum Francaise.

1917: The Badin smelter and the town of Badin, built by Alcoa, go into operation. Alcoa already has three hydropower plants up and running on the Yadkin, supplying the smelter with power.

1920: Congress enacts the Federal Power Act, giving Washington control over navigable rivers. Alcoa is licensed under the FPA to run the Yadkin Project.

1958: Alcoa wins relicensing for the maximum term of 50 years, with North Carolina's support. The state cites the company's plan to double capacity at the Badin smelter and add a four hydroelectric plant on the Yadkin, assuring 900 jobs.

2002: Alcoa ends regular aluminum production in Badin and lays off 377 workers.

2006: Alcoa's subsidiary, APGI, applies to extend its license for the hydroelectric plants through 2058.

2007: Alcoa mothballs ("curtails") the Badin smelter, probably for good.

2008: Stanly County challenges Alcoa's application to the state for a water quality permit under Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act.

2009: North Carolina challenges APGI's license renewal, saying it's been a bad steward of the Yadkin. With the 401 permit issue still pending, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission defers decision on the license; APGI continues to operate the Yadkin Project under a temporary license.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in North Carolina



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Great post! I agree with Richard that Unemployment insurance should be voluntary and paid for the employee. There is absolutely …

by Gaynell Esklar on GOP, N.C. Chamber hatch plan to reduce unemployment benefits, pay state debt (North Carolina)

WRAL.com estimated that the loss was about $500M, which is less than .001 (1/10 of 1%) of …

by John Trololo on How Much Has HB 2 Cost North Carolina? As Much as $395 Million—and Counting. (North Carolina)

You can't lose what you never had. The ACC will lose when it's fans don't leave to the state to …

by Barbara 2 on How Much Has HB 2 Cost North Carolina? As Much as $395 Million—and Counting. (North Carolina)

How much tax money has McCory spent on lawyers trying to defend the UN-defendable....McCory is an idiot a moron....anything but …

by Tony D on North Carolina Tried to Defend HB 2 in Federal Court. It Didn’t Go Well. (North Carolina)

I would love a decent fixer upper mobile home to make into my very own Work /Craft Shop. I love …

by Kaybird on Abandoned mobile homes plague North Carolina (North Carolina)

Comments

Great post! I agree with Richard that Unemployment insurance should be voluntary and paid for the employee. There is absolutely …

by Gaynell Esklar on GOP, N.C. Chamber hatch plan to reduce unemployment benefits, pay state debt (North Carolina)

WRAL.com estimated that the loss was about $500M, which is less than .001 (1/10 of 1%) of …

by John Trololo on How Much Has HB 2 Cost North Carolina? As Much as $395 Million—and Counting. (North Carolina)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation