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May 5, 2005
Alcoa, Government of Jamaica To Expand Jamalco Alumina Refinery By 150,000 MTPY; 1st Phase of 1.5 Million MTPY Expansion, Doubling Jamalco
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 5, 2005--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today announced that its Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC) affiliate and the Government of Jamaica have approved plans to immediately expand the Jamalco alumina refinery in Clarendon, Jamaica by 150,000 metric tons per year (mtpy) as the first phase of the overall 1.5 million mtpy capacity expansion. This first phase will cost approximately $77 million, with the commitment of another $25 million to finalize detailed engineering on the full project over the next three months. Full production from the first phase is expected by the end of 2006.
"This investment pulls forward a portion of our plan to expand the Jamalco facility by more than 1.5 million metric tons," said Bernt Reitan, President of Alcoa Primary Products. "There is concrete evidence of progress in our Jamalco facility and it has earned the right to grow. Pulling forward a portion of our larger expansion will allow us to leverage globally with other brownfield and greenfield projects to reduce our costs and gain efficiencies," said Reitan.
A final investment decision on the larger expansion project, which would more than double the refinery's total capacity to at least 2.8 million mtpy, is expected in the third quarter of 2005. As part of that project, AWAC ownership in the refinery will move from 50 percent to at least 70 percent. The government of Jamaica will continue to own the remaining percentage. Upon approval, it is expected that the expansion project will be completed by the end of 2007.
Expansions at Jamalco stem from a 2002 agreement with the Jamaican government to remove a nearly 30-year-old levy on bauxite in order to encourage investment. As a result of that levy removal and investments to expand, the Jamalco refinery is among the world's lowest-cost refineries.
AWAC is a global alliance between Alcoa and Alumina Ltd, with Alcoa holding 60 percent.
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 131,000 employees in 43 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 www.alcoa.com
Forward Looking Statement
Certain statements relate to future events and expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements involving known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors 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 changes in environmental assessments, governmental alterations, legislation and other risk factors summarized in Alcoa's 2004 10-K report and other SEC reports.