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Alcan to expand alumina production in Gove, Australia

Alcan Inc : 09 September, 2004  (Company News)
Alcan Inc today announced its decision to proceed with an investment to expand and improve its Gove alumina refinery in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Alcan Inc today announced its decision to proceed with an investment to expand and improve its Gove alumina refinery in the Northern Territory of Australia.

The US$1.3 billion investment is earmarked to increase the refinery's capacity from about 2.1 million tonnes per year to approximately 3.8 million tonnes. The investment will also significantly improve operating efficiency and enhance environmental performance.

'The Gove expansion represents a very attractive growth opportunity, very much aligned with Alcan's governing objective of maximising value,' said Travis Engen, President and CEO of Alcan. 'With increasing global demand for alumina, this investment will allow Alcan to leverage Gove's advantaged competitive position, and sustain our ability to serve our customers in key growing markets. The Gove expansion represents close to a 30% increase in Alcan's overall alumina capacity.'

With significant efficiency and environmental enhancements integrated into the project, the Gove mining and alumina operations will be well positioned for superior economic, environmental and social performance.

'The design and scope of this project are such that this capital investment will truly benefit all Alcan stakeholders,' said Michael Hanley, President and CEO of Alcan's Bauxite and Alumina Group. 'We believe that this low-cost capacity expansion will result in Alcan having well over 50% of its alumina production in the first quartile on the global cost curve. By improving raw material efficiencies, reducing operating costs as well as improving environmental performance, this investment secures Alcan Gove's long-term sustainability.'

In keeping with Alcan's commitment to sustainability, Alcan will continue working closely with its stakeholders, including the local indigenous community, to ensure that the Gove expansion and its future operations meet shared goals.

Alcan's decision to proceed with the expansion follows the Northern Territory government's approval of the associated Environmental Impact Statement in July 2004.

Construction on the expansion is expected to start before the end of 2004, placing it in a position to be fully operational by 2007. During peak construction the expansion will create approximately 1700 jobs while 120 additional jobs are expected to be created once the new facilities are operational.
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