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Alcoa to Study Feasibility of New B.C. Aluminum Smelter VANCOUVER--February 25, 1998--
Alcoa and the British Columbia government signed a memorandum of
understanding today to proceed with a planning and feasibility study for
construction of a primary aluminum smelter. The announcement was made
jointly by Premier Glen Clark and Alan Renken, president of Alcoa's
Primary Metals business unit. The plant would represent an investment of
C$1.2 billion (approximately US$843 million) as well as 500 direct and
1,500 indirect jobs. This represents the third potential new aluminum
smelter investment in B.C. announced in the past six months.
Alcoa will determine the feasibility of potential sites for a new
aluminum smelting plant in British Columbia, with the province providing
site infrastructure information. The planning and feasibility study will
be completed no later than December 31, 1998. Depending on the outcome
of the study and all necessary government and company approvals,
construction could start in 1999.
"Attracting the world's leading aluminum producer demonstrates that our
Power for Jobs strategy provides the right incentives to get
international private sector investors interested in British Columbia,"
said Clark. "Should the two MOUs signed this year, and a third MOU
signed with Alcan, lead to construction of three new primary aluminum
plants, our ability to use excess hydroelectric power as an investment
tool could lead to over 6,000 direct and indirect jobs." In January,
British Columbia signed a memorandum of understanding with Alumax to
conduct a planning and feasibility study for a new smelter.
"British Columbia has sufficient hydroelectric power, the transportation
infrastructure, the skilled labor, and access to Pacific Rim markets we
need to make a primary aluminum smelter viable," said Renken. "Last
December, the Premier presented us with a compelling case for investing
in B.C. Based on ensuing discussions, we will now investigate the
feasibility of establishing operations here."
Under the MOU Alcoa commits to:
» conduct a planning and feasibility study for construction of a
primary aluminum smelter with an output of at least 250,000 metric tons
per year (mtpy), annual demand of a minimum 425 megawatts of electric
power at 100% load factor, and estimated direct, indirect and induced
employment of up to 2,000 people.
» include in the study the use of optimum production technologies and
state-of-the-art environmental controls.
The province agrees to:
» assist Alcoa with site infrastructure information
» negotiate a power contract with Alcoa
Alcoa and the provincial government also agree to identify opportunities
for additional secondary manufacturing investments and maximizing
purchases from B.C. suppliers in the construction and operation of the
new plant in order to maximize B.C. employment and business
The facility would include state-of-the-art environmental protection
equipment and would meet all of the requirements of the Environmental
Assessment review process for an aluminum production facility in British