February 18, 2004

Alinta launches cogeneration project at Alcoa’s Pinjarra refinery

Western Australian Deputy Premier Eric Ripper today officially launched Alinta Limited’s cogeneration electricity project at Alcoa World Alumina Australia’s Pinjarra refinery.

At the official launch Alcoa Managing Director Wayne Osborn said the cogeneration project and the recently approved $440 million Pinjarra alumina refinery Efficiency Upgrade would make Pinjarra one of the most competitive refineries in the world, and in particular one of the most energy efficient.
 
“This is a major investment in Western Australia and specifically the Peel region. Alcoa has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to Western Australia since it began production in 1963. These two projects enhance Alcoa’s growth potential into the future,” Mr Osborn said.
 
Alcoa’s operations in Western Australia play an integral part in the growth of the world’s aluminium industry. Alcoa's total alumina production capacity makes WA the biggest single source of alumina in the world, able to supply more than 15 percent to the international market.
 
“Pinjarra is one of the world’s most successful and cost efficient refineries in the Alcoa global system and the efficiency upgrade along with Alinta’s cogeneration project will consolidate Pinjarra’s market competitiveness as a world class, leading edge, cost competitive refinery,” Mr Osborn said.
 
“These projects also demonstrate win-win partnerships to improve energy and resource efficiency. They combine to deliver positive outcomes for the community and the environment. They deliver on Alcoa’s global commitment to world best practice air emissions management as part of our total commitment to cleaner production.”
 
“This is a great occasion for both Alcoa and Alinta.”
 
Background: Alcoa Pinjarra Efficiency Upgrade
 
The Pinjarra Efficiency Upgrade will have major economic and environmental benefits for the people of Western Australia.
 
Environmental outcomes
 
“Alcoa has a global commitment to operate with cleaner air, better use of land and water, and the protection of human health,” Mr Osborn said.
 
“To achieve this, Alcoa has set global targets for our world-wide operations covering key areas such as a world-wide commitment to reduce by 50% volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 2008 from a base year of 2000.
 
“The Pinjarra Efficiency Upgrade delivers this global commitment with a major air emissions upgrade. World best practice air emissions management will result in a reduction in total atmospheric emissions from the refinery.
 
“For example, there will be an overall reduction of about 10% in VOC’s and a 25% overall reduction in particulate emissions from the calciners. There will also be a reduction of over 90% in carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from the oxalate kiln and an offset of the increase in refinery oxides of nitrogen (NOx).
 
Community engagement
 
Mr Osborn said the successful design and implementation of the Efficiency Upgrade was the result of Alcoa’s close working relationship with the local community.
 
“We approached the project with sustainability principles clearly in mind. An integral part of this has been the Stakeholders Reference Group (SRG) that represents the views of the local community on an ongoing basis.
 
“In particular, the SRG has liaised with Alcoa on the environment, social and economic aspects of the upgrade and assisted Alcoa to review the draft Environmental Protection Statement (EPS) which was submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA),” he said.
 
“Community involvement on the project has been exemplary as it has been extensive, responsive and fully engaging to ensure the project contributes to the community’s vision for the future. This further demonstrates the open and involving nature of Alcoa’s project management.”
 
Economic outcomes
 
The Pinjarra Efficiency Upgrade will increase export revenue by up to $160 million per annum and enhance the economic contribution Alcoa makes to Western Australian, currently  $1.1billion each year.
 
“Improving our competitiveness will provide secure employment for more than 4000 West Australians employed by Alcoa in regional communities and 15,000 indirectly employed throughout regional WA. The upgrade project will create a peak of 1,000 jobs during the construction phase,” he said.
 
Mr Osborn said the $440 million upgrade of the Pinjarra refinery was a part of Alcoa’s long-term global strategy to make Alcoa’s alumina business the most efficient in the world.

“The Pinjarra refinery is currently one of the world’s most efficient alumina refineries accounting for around 7 per cent of the international market. Following the Efficiency Upgrade, its annual production of alumina will increase by 600,000 tonnes of alumina per annum (tpa) to 4.2 million (tpa) and there will also be significant savings in production costs.
 
Work on the Pinjarra Efficiency Upgrade will begin shortly. The construction phase is expected to take nearly two years with completion by the end of 2005.
 
Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminium, fabricated aluminium and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses as a single solution to customers. The company has 120,000 employees in 41 countries.
 
Alcoa’s Australian operations consist of two bauxite mines, three alumina refineries, two aluminium smelters and two aluminium rolling mills.  The company provides over 6,000 jobs in Australia and operates the largest integrated bauxite/alumina refining/aluminium smelting system in the world.

For more information go to www.alcoa.com.au
 
Further information: 
Brian Doy
Manager, Corporate and Community Relations, WA
Mb: 0404 800 027

Pinjarra Refinery Efficiency Upgrade Website


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