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March 12, 2004

Alcoa Expects Chinese Government Approval of Pingguo Joint Venture; Also Expects Approval of Bohai Expansion Shortly

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 12, 2004--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today announced it expects Chinese government regulators to approve the company's proposed joint venture with Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (Chalco) for an integrated alumina-aluminum facility in Pingguo.

As part of the strategic alliance, Chalco and Alcoa are forming a 50/50 joint venture at Chalco's facility at Pingguo, to benefit from the growth of China's aluminum market, the fastest growing in the world.

The parties have committed to significantly increase both the refining and smelting capacities at Pingguo over the next few years. Following a recent alumina expansion, the capacity of the alumina plant is 850,000 mtpy. There are also plans to expand the 130,000 mtpy aluminum smelter at Pingguo by 250,000 mtpy, bringing total capacity to 380,000 mtpy by 2006. Based on recent discussions with Chalco and representatives from the Chinese government, Alcoa expects to finalize the necessary arrangements and obtain government approvals in 2004. No U.S. regulatory approvals are required.

Chalco is the leading alumina producer and the largest producer of primary aluminum in China. Its mining, refining and smelting operations are the largest in the Chinese aluminum industry.

Alcoa also is expecting approval shortly of its joint venture with China International Trust & Investment, its equity partner in Bohai Aluminum, to expand a rolling mill in Liaoning Province. Alcoa expects to invest approximately $200 million on the facility to serve customers in multiple markets, including transportation. Alcoa and China International Trust also own a foil facility in Liaoning.

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum 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 to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 120,000 employees in 41 countries. More information can be found at

Forward Looking Statement

Certain statements in this release relate to future events and expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements involving known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or achievements of Alcoa to be different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include (a) unexpected changes in global economic, business, competitive, market and regulatory factors in the countries in which Alcoa operates, including China; (b) material adverse changes in aluminum industry conditions generally, including global supply and demand conditions and prices for primary aluminum, alumina and other products; (c) changes in the governmental policies or laws of China, including those affecting investments in or expansions of aluminum or alumina projects or the financing of such projects; (d) the inability to arrange or obtain a reliable source of power for the planned Pingguo joint venture or unexpected delays in obtaining the necessary governmental approvals for such joint venture; and (e) the other risk factors summarized in Alcoa's 2003 Form 10-K Report and other SEC reports.