Alcoa is officially closing its Wenatchee location, signaling the end of a long-time source of aluminum and jobs in North Central Washington.

The Wenatchee Works site, which was shuttered in 2015, used to employ hundreds in the area. Now, the site currently employs 18 people, some of whom will remain on with the company to assist with demolition and redevelopment work.

Regional Port CEO Jim Kuntz said Alcoa is contracted with the Chelan County PUD for the next few years and will still need to pay on that contract.

"I had a conversation yesterday with (Chelan County PUD General Manager Steve Wright) and he feels the same way I do." explained Kuntz, "It's good to get beyond this idling and get into a restructuring plan."

Alcoa will ultimately decide what happens with the 2,800 acres of land it owns east of Malaga. The company has reportedly been getting interest in the site from established businesses. Alcoa is looking to sell the land all at once instead of a more piecemeal strategy.

"Remember, Alcoa is in the driver's seat. Alcoa owns (the site). Pittsburg, Pennsylvania is making the decisions." continued Kuntz, "I think it's unfortunate because that's our economic future, at least on the Chelan County side with the limited land supply."

Alcoa will pay roughly $60 million over the next seven years in order to permanently close the site. Kuntz added that Alcoa is having a great year in terms of profits, so taking on the expense of shuttering the Wenatchee site makes financial sense.

The company recently finished shuttering its smelter in Ferndale, Washington while also announcing improvements to sites in Australia and Brazil.

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