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December 23, 1998

Century To Acquire Alcoa's California Cast Aluminum Plate Business

MONTEREY, CA., and PITTSBURGH, Pa.--December 23, 1998-- Century Aluminum Company (NASDAQ: CENX) and Alcoa (NYSE: AA) announced today that Century has reached an agreement to acquire the cast aluminum plate business of Alcoa based in Vernon, California. The acquisition is subject to prior approval by the U. S. Department of Justice. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Alcoa is required to sell the business under the terms of its agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that cleared the way for the company to acquire Alumax Inc. The business has annual revenues of nearly $30 million. The acquisition is immediately accretive to Century's net income.

The business will be named Century Cast Plate, Inc. and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Century. The plant, with 110 employees, has capacity to produce about 15 million pounds a year of cast and machined aluminum plate. Recent investments totaling $11 million have made the plant a technically advanced, low-cost producer of the widest range of cast aluminum plate products in the world.

Century is a leading producer of rolled aluminum plate and operates some of the largest plate-making equipment in the world at its large integrated rolling operations at Ravenswood, WV. Earlier this year Century completed a $28-million project that doubled, to 50 million pounds a year, the plant's capacity to produce heat-treated plate which is used widely in the aerospace industry.

In addition to land, buildings and equipment, the assets being acquired include intellectual property that allows Century to continue operating the business at current levels.

Announcing the transaction, Century Chairman Craig A. Davis said: "This acquisition is highly complementary to Century's existing rolled plate business. With a broad product line and total annual plate capacity of about 70 million pounds, we now have new opportunities to expand our presence in plate markets, especially in Europe where the cast plate division sells about 25 percent of its production. We also have identified cost-saving synergies that involve production and metal sharing arrangements between the Ravenswood and Vernon plants." Century produces primary aluminum and a broad range of aluminum sheet and plate products. Its principal subsidiary is Century Aluminum of West Virginia, Inc., which operates a reduction plant and rolling mill at Ravenswood, WV. Century also owns a 26.67 percent interest in an aluminum reduction plant at Mt. Holly, SC.

Founded in 1888, Alcoa is the world's leading producer of aluminum and alumina and a major participant in all segments of the industry: mining, refining, smelting, fabricating and recycling. Alcoa serves customers worldwide in the packaging, automotive, aerospace, construction and other markets with a great variety of fabricated and finished products.