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March 14, 2005

Alcoa CSI Introduces ''X-Tech'' Training for Bottlers Facing Extreme Temperature Conditions

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 14, 2005--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today that its Alcoa Closure Systems International (Alcoa CSI) business introduced X-Tech, a new interactive closure systems training course available for carbonated soft drink (CSD) bottlers facing extreme temperature cycling conditions. Alcoa CSI, one of the world's leading closure systems suppliers to the beverage industry, is launching X-Tech with a seasonal promotion that kicks off today aimed at regional bottlers in the U.S. that may face extreme conditions in the coming months.

Alcoa CSI's X-Tech on-site training program provides CSD bottlers with a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of plastic closure application under extreme temperature cycling conditions. X-Tech provides the training needed to convert the bottling line to Alcoa CSI's XT(TM) closures. Once trained, bottlers can convert their operation to XT(TM) closures seasonally, or when necessary, resulting in improved package performance, customer and consumer satisfaction.

"Alcoa CSI developed X-Tech to demonstrate to bottlers that packaging can be adapted to environmental conditions such as temperature cycling. Alcoa XT(TM) closures are the solution to bottlers where these conditions exist particularly in vending and distribution. With XT(TM) closures, bottlers gain the flexibility to seasonally adjust packaging to the environment, "said John Grainda, marketing manager for Alcoa CSI's carbonated soft drink market.

Alcoa CSI research shows that filled PET soft drink bottles can be subjected to "temperature cycling" in the filling/distribution channel - from 40 degrees (F) in refrigerated vending to over 135 degrees (F) in shipping and storage. These wide-ranging temperatures can cause shrinkage of the heat-sensitive PET material, which can cause gaps to develop between the finish and the closure. The result: loss of CO2 and product freshness.

Alcoa CSI's Double-Lok XT(TM) and Extra-Lok XT(TM) closures are specifically designed for PET beverage bottles to maximize CO2 sealing performance and beverage product freshness under the most demanding conditions. The XT(TM) liner design incorporates an inner and outer seal, providing maximum protection against gaps. Under extreme temperature conditions, this dual seal assures that the product remains fresh until the consumer opens the bottle.

"By using Alcoa CSI's XT(TM) closures and applying knowledge from X-Tech training, bottlers can be confident of superior sealing performance and beverage freshness," Grainda added.

X-Tech is one of several ways that Alcoa CSI delivers total closure systems solutions. Alcoa customers have unique access to a network of world-class expertise in closure systems engineering and technical services offering on-site service, application support, training and plant efficiency improvement programs.

About CSI and Alcoa

Alcoa Closure Systems International, Inc. (CSI) is recognized as a world leader in closure systems and packaging, and provider of quality products and service support to the beverage industry. CSI's major markets include carbonated soft drink, juice, isotonic, bottled water, beer, dairy, food, liquor, personal care, and motor oil. In its 27 operating locations and offices worldwide, CSI employs nearly 3,000 persons. The company is guided by principles of strict customer satisfaction, total quality manufacturing and technical service, all tied to specific customer needs.

In addition to closures and capping equipment, Alcoa Inc. offers a complete selection of packaging products to manufacturers and consumers including aluminum rigid container sheet for the packaging and consumer products market, formed plastic containers, converter foil and formed container stock; printed, coated and laminated films; paper and foil combinations, shrink films and over wrap; custom-formed sterile plastic containers for medical supplies, tools and electronics.

Alcoa Inc. 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, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 131,000 employees in 43 countries. More information can be found at