Subscribe | Return to listing

end of year message from alan cransberg

While I have been with Alcoa 28 years, 2008 was my first year as Managing Director of Alcoa in Australia. And what a year! Huge challenges, great opportunities, many successes and terrific to be back in Australia after seven years in the USA.
Unfortunately, we are in the midst of the greatest global economic turmoil for many, many decades.  For us, this has led to a small curtailment at Portland Aluminium and the suspension of work on the Wagerup expansion, but on top of that this year, we have had gas crises in Western Australia and the impending introduction of an emissions trading scheme.
What these challenges have demonstrated is the importance of having committed Alcoans who will work together. While the recent WA gas crisis was unfortunate, I loved the fact that our people banded together to find solutions. Because of their hard work and dedication, our production impact was minimal. Based on this and prior experiences, our team actually gets stronger and tighter by having to work through difficult and challenging times.
We have spent a lot of time this year having conversations with Governments about the potential impact to our industry of an emissions trading scheme (ETS).  We fully support the introduction of an ETS that delivers greenhouse benefits and protects Australian jobs. The Government has the opportunity to get the scheme right, and we are confident it will. We look forward to reviewing the White Paper when it’s released next week.
Of course we continue to keep a close eye on our operations across the country, as we always do, to ensure we are managing our businesses well during the global financial crisis. The steps we have needed to take, around the Wagerup expansion and Portland Aluminium, were necessary ones to ensure we continue to have a long future in Australia. The metal and alumina price are about 40% of what they were six months ago. So, we earn less for our products, hence we must urgently reduce costs to protect our businesses here. They are great businesses and like others in the mining and minerals processing sector, we will take whatever steps are necessary to make sure they stay great businesses.
Our communities are fundamental to our success and since returning to Australia at the start of the year, I have enjoyed getting to know them once again. Every year we contribute more than $6 million to community partnerships and it’s been great seeing much of that investment at work this year, helping to create strong, connected Australian communities.   Our people invest a lot of personal time in volunteering too, indeed our volunteering programs at Alcoa form a core part of our value system and we will build on that further next year. When it comes to the communities in which we operate, our future is shared – and our future is bright.
I have spent much of my time on our sites this year - the heart of our company. We really do have amazing people in this organisation and I thank them for their continued hard work and commitment.   2009 will no doubt bring new challenges, but ones we are equipped and ready to take on.  

I want to thank you for your much valued ongoing support of Alcoa. Please continue to provide your important feedback, and I look forward to updating you about our business and our communities in the year ahead. I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

part of our everyday lives
Aluminium is an amazingly versatile metal - with NASA and Alcoa working together, and new buildings around the world continu-
ing to turn to our product.
read more

our business
Introducing Alcoa Live – your place on for video news. Meantime our Executive Dir-
ector of HR discusses why flexible work arrangements are key to our business sustainability.
read more

part of the solution
Alcoa takes
the lead in pushing for a national security energy strategy, to guarantee Australia’s future energy requirements for us all.
read more

partnering stronger communities
We live by our core value to build more sustainable communities around our operations – 2008 has been no different.
read more

our people
Portland Alumi-
nium employ-
ees devise a new safety initiative, while Alcoa emplo-
yees across the country demonstrate their commit-
ment to being part of the so-
lution to climate change.
read more
Click here  for Alcoa Live … a video experience of what we do and how we do it
If you would like to learn more about Alcoa’s operations and contribution to the
Australian community, visit
To unsubscribe to this publication, click here.