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November 28, 2005

Alumar Consortium Starts Up its Aluminum Smelter Expansion in Sao Luis, Brazil

PITTSBURGH & SAO LUIS, MA, Brazil--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 28, 2005--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today the start up of its third expansion at the Alumar Consortium located in Sao Luis, Maranhao-MA, Brazil. When the 100 new pots of the expansion are up and running, plant capacity will total 440,000 metric tons per year, a 17% increase over current capacity.

The start-up is taking place in two stages: 48 of the new pots will operate in the first stage with the remaining pots starting up in March 2006. The total expected incremental production in 2006 is approximately 50,000 metric tons.

This project is within the original timetable and budget, with an excellent work safety record. To date, there have been approximately three million man-hours worked without a single lost work day accidents. This first stage of the expansion was built in only 13 and a 1/2 months, which is a record for projects of this nature.

The expansion of the Alumar Consortium's aluminum plant is part of an investment plan that Alcoa Aluminio is implementing for its primary metal production operations in Brazil, totalling US$1.6 billion, which also includes the implementation of a bauxite mine in Juriti, PA (state of Para), doubling of the alumina refinery in Sao Luis, MA (state of Maranhao) and modernization of the aluminum smelter in Pocos de Caldas, MG (state of Minas Gerais).

For aluminum production, the Alumar Consortium is formed by Alcoa (53.66%) and BHP Billiton (46.34%); and, for alumina refining, the Consortium is formed by Alcoa Aluminio S.A. (35.1%), Abalco S.A. (18.9%) -- both subsidiaries of Alcoa Inc.-- BHP Billiton (36%) and Alcan (10%). When the current expansion is fully operational, Alcoa will increase its stake in the Sao Luis aluminum production operation to 60%, representing approximately 264,000 metric tons per year.

About Alcoa and Alcoa Aluminio

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 named one of the top three most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at

Established 40 years ago in Brazil, Alcoa Aluminio S.A. is a subsidiary of Alcoa Inc.

Note to Editors: In the text above, there should be a tilde above the "a" in "Sao" and above the last "a" in "Maranhao". Also there should be an accent symbol above the "i" in "Luis", there should be a cedilla below the "c" in "Pocos" and there should be an accent symbol over the second "a" in "Para".