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Alumar Alumina Refinery Expansion Dedicated (posted 12/11/09)

December 11, 2009
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Alcoa has inaugurated the expansion of the Alumar alumina refinery in northern Brazil, where capacity more than doubled from 1.5 million metric tons per year (mtpy) to 3.6 million mtpy. Alcoa’s share of the expansion will be 1.1 million mtpy. The expansion capacity at the refinery will be in the first quintile of low-cost alumina production globally.

Alumar, located in Maranhão state outside São Luis, Brazil, is jointly owned by Alcoa Aluminio and Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals/AWAC (54%), BHP Billiton (36%) and Rio Tinto Alcan (10%). Alcoa manages the facility.

The AWAC share of the Alumar refinery expansion will be supplied by the recently completed AWAC Juruti bauxite mine. Alcoa’s investment in the Alumar expansion, which totaled approximately $1.0 billion, will place Alcoa’s global refining system in the lowest cost quartile on the global cost curve. Production at the refinery will be ramped up to reach full capacity by the end of the first quarter of 2010.

Brazilian President Lula da Silva participated in the inauguration, along with Maranhão State Governor Roseana Sarney and other federal and state authorities. “Above all, the expansion of this refinery symbolizes a new moment being experienced by Brazil’s North/Northeast in its march toward economic emancipation,” said Lula.

According to Franklin L. Feder, president of Alcoa Latin America and Caribbean, “We accomplished this expansion at a competitive cost, employing local workers and suppliers and incorporating state-of-the-art technology, which places the Alumar alumina refinery as one of the lowest cost refineries in the world. And our ramp-up activities are going extremely well, so this low-cost production will be utilized quickly.”

For more information, visit www.alcoa.com, www.bhpbilliton.com or www.riotintoalcan.com.

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