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July 8, 2004

Alcoa Breaks Ground on $1.1 Billion Iceland Smelter; Fjardaal Smelter On Track to Make Aluminum in Spring 2007.

PITTSBURGH & REYDARFJORDUR, Iceland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 8, 2004--Alcoa broke ground today on its 322,000 metric ton per year (mtpy) Fjardaal aluminum smelter in East Iceland, the company's first greenfield smelter in 20 years.

Cost of the facility is estimated at approximately $1.1 billion. Upon completion, Alcoa Fjardaal will be one of the most efficient, environmentally-friendly, and safest smelters in the world. It is scheduled to begin production in the spring of 2007.

Attending the ground-breaking ceremony in Reydarfjordur today were Bernt Reitan, Group President of Alcoa Primary Products; Valgerdur Sverrisdottir, the Minister of Industry and Commerce; Gudmundur Bjarnason, Mayor of Fjardabyggd Municipality; and Andy Greig, President of Bechtel's Mining and Metals Global Business Unit as well as parliamentarians from the northeast constituency, members from the environmental and business committees of parliament, aldermen from Fjardabyggd, and representatives from community, business and labor organizations in the East.

Bechtel will manage the smelter construction in cooperation with the Icelandic engineering firm HRV. As many as 1800 people will be employed at the height of construction of the smelter. The smelter will create approximately 750 permanent jobs in the region. During the construction, emphasis will be placed on close consultation with the local community, safety of employees, and Alcoa's sustainable development philosophies to minimize the impact on the environment.

Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, 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 and has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for 45 years and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since 2001. More information can be found at