The refinery is an alumina manufacturing facility situated along the Mississippi River in St. James Parish just downriver from Gramercy, Louisiana. At the Gramercy refinery, bauxite is chemically refined and converted into alumina, the principal raw material used in the production of primary aluminum. Extensive portions of the Gramercy refinery were rebuilt and modernized from 2000 through 2002.
Gramercy has an annual production capacity of 1.2 million metric tonnes of alumina in the form of smelter grade alumina and alumina hydrate, or chemical grade alumina.
Construction on the alumina refinery began in 1957 with the first shipment of alumina occurring two years later. Ocean going freighters supply the plant with bauxite (primary raw material) from the bauxite mine in Jamaica. Utilizing the Bayer process to chemically extract alumina from bauxite, the original plant was designed to produce 438,000 metric tonnes of alumina per year. The plant has undergone several expansions and modernizations since then to increase the output of alumina to 1.2 million metric tonnes per year. The Gramercy facility was originally owned by Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation. In 2004, we formed a joint partnership with Century Aluminum and purchased the Gramercy refinery and the St. Ann bauxite mining operations from Kaiser. In 2009, we became sole owner of the refinery, which now operates as Noranda Alumina, LLC.