The Novelis plant in Buckhannon. (Photo by Monica Zalaznik.)

Novelis to close Buckhannon plant, lay off 80 employees

By Monica Zalaznik and Brian Bergstrom

BUCKHANNON — A major Upshur County employer is set to permanently close its Buckhannon location in June.

In a letter to city and state officials dated March 15, Novelis ALR Rolled Products said 80 individuals will be affected by the total closure of the Buckhannon plant.

James Praino, the plant manager for Novelis Buckhannon, said in the letter that the closure will take effect June 13, 2024.

“I am writing on behalf of Novelis ALR Rolled Products, Inc. to give you notice that there will be a total closure of the Buckhannon plant located at 1 Moore Ave., Buckhannon, WV 26201 on June 13, 2024,” the letter reads. “This closure is expected to be permanent and will affect all employees.”

Large employers must issue a WARN notice to formally signal a significant layoff or facility closure, as required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

The Buckhannon facility for Novelis is located on Route 20, behind Skateland and beside the old National Guard armory, in the building that formerly housed Moore’s Business Forms. The plant was previously known as Aleris before that company was acquired by Novelis in 2020.

With locations in Asia, Europe, North America and South America, Novelis calls itself “the leading producer of flat-rolled aluminum products and the world’s largest recycler of aluminum.”

The company has more than 13,000 employees across nine countries.

“Our facility in Buckhannon, West Virginia was built in 1999 to serve the electrical conductor industry and other light-gauge applications, primarily 1350 and 1100 alloy products,” according to the Novelis website. “Since then, we have added to our capabilities in Buckhannon, including the manufacture of 3003 alloys for cookware products.”

The company also has a location in Fairmont, West Virginia.

In February, Novelis revealed that it had confidentially filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its stock. Although Novelis is based in Atlanta, Georgia, the company is owned by Hindalco Industries, part of India’s Aditya Birla Group.

Julie Groover, the Senior Director of Corporate Communications for Novelis, said the company will support the affected employees, but due to the potential IPO, she couldn’t comment beyond that.

“Beginning June 14, 2024, Novelis will no longer operate the Buckhannon plant, and we will permanently shut down production,” Groover told My Buckhannon. “We will provide impacted employees with support throughout the transition. We’re actually in a quiet period because we did a confidential filing for a potential IPO, so that’s all I can share with you at this time.”

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