OSLO, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Norwegian aluminium maker Norsk Hydro has been told by a Brazilian regulator to cut output from its Alunorte alumina refinery by 50 percent until it complies with an order to safeguard the environment, the company said. The cutbacks follow recent claims by Brazilian federal and state prosecutors of a waste spill at one of Alunorte’s bauxite refuse deposits after heavy rain. Hydro reiterated that it found no evidence of any such pollution. “While it is too early to determine the size and impact of the resolution, it could potentially have significant operational and financial consequences,” Hydro said in a statement. Alunorte, in the state of Para, is the world’s largest alumina refinery, transforming bauxite to alumina, which is turned into aluminium at giant smelters. According to Hydro, Para’s Secretariat of Environment and Sustainability (SEMAS) said Alunorte must cut its production due to non-compliance with a resolution to sufficiently lower water levels at a bauxite residue deposit. SEMAS also said it would order Hydro’s Paragominas bauxite mine to suspend operations at one of two tailing dams at the plant, the company said. “We have taken considerable measures to meet the deadline at Alunorte, and we will continue with full force to make sure that we comply with expectations and requirements,” Hydro Chief Executive Svein Richard Brandtzaeg said in a statement. “We will continue our dialogue with local authorities to ensure that we take all necessary steps to ensure safe and sound operations – with respect for people, the environment and for the local communities that we are a part of,” he said. Founded in 1995, Alunorte produces 5.8 million metric tonnes of alumina per year, according to Norsk Hydro’s website. On average, 14 percent of Alunorte’s production stays in Brazil while 86 percent is exported to the Middle East, North American and Europe, it said.