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July 9, 2004

As Planned, Alcoa Curtails Production from 3 to 2 Potlines at ABI Facility During Strike; Remains Open to Discussions

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 9, 2004--Alcoa today said it would take the next step in its plan to operate the Becancour aluminum smelter in Quebec where the employees represented by the Syndicat des Employees de l'Aluminerie de Becancour have been on strike since Wednesday afternoon. This step is to reduce production from three potlines to two potlines on Saturday afternoon, July 10, thereby reducing production at the facility by 11,000 tonnes per month, or from 403,000 metric tons per year (mtpy) to approximately 270,000 mtpy.

The company has planned for the possibility of a strike, and developed a contingency plan that first called for continuing to run the plant while work to phase down to two potlines was implemented. The company had initially stated that it expected an impact on production at some point.

"Our management staff has done a remarkable job operating the facility across 12-hour shifts the past few days while we prepared to take this potline down," said Louis-Regis Tremblay, ABI president and general manager. "Morale here is good and once this move is implemented, the facility should be in a very stable condition moving forward."

ABI is one of 27 smelters within the Alcoa global smelting system. Alcoa's total worldwide capacity is approximately 4 million metric tons per year, so Alcoa is confident it can continue to keep the impact to customers and the company at a minimal level.