Alcoa recently announced that its board of directors has approved plans for the company's Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC) affiliate to join with the Government of Jamaica to expand the Jamalco alumina refinery in Clarendon, Jamaica. The expansion will add 1.5 million metric tons per year (mtpy) of production to Jamalco, more than doubling the refinery's capacity to approximately 2.8 million mtpy. The cost for the 1.5 million mtpy expansion is expected to be approximately $1.2 billion, which includes costs for a power station, as well as high hurricane wind and earthquake requirements for construction in Jamaica. The first phase of this expansion, which will add 150,000 mtpy, was announced in May and should be completed by the end of 2006. The second phase, which adds approximately 1.35 million mtpy, is expected to be completed by the end of 2007. As part of this expansion project, AWAC's ownership in Jamalco will move from 50% to approximately 77%; the government of Jamaica will continue to own the remaining portion of Jamalco.
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