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March 7, 2006

Alcoa Announces Construction Completed and Production Started on Alumar Aluminum Smelter Expansion in Brazil

NEW YORK & SAO LUIS, Brazil--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 7, 2006--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) Chairman and CEO Alain Belda announced today that construction on the expansion of its Alumar smelter in Sao Luis, Maranhao, Brazil, has been completed and start-up of full production has begun. The expansion will add 63,000 mtpy of aluminum, bringing total capacity there to 433,000 mtpy. Mr. Belda made the announcement during his presentation on Alcoa's global growth strategy at Citigroup's Annual Global Industrial Manufacturing Conference in New York today. During his presentation, Mr. Belda said that consumption of aluminum products, both upstream and downstream, is expected to double over the next 14 years due to evolving demographics around the world.

The expansion of the Alumar smelter took place in two stages: 48 of the new pots were put into operation in November 2005 and the start up of the remaining 52 pots began today and is expected to be completed by the end of the month. The total expected incremental production in 2006 is approximately 50,000 metric tons. 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 mtpy.

"Alumar is recognized worldwide as one of the world's largest industrial complexes for producing alumina and aluminum, and it is one of the most modern smelters in the Alcoa system. This project was completed within the original timetable and budget and most importantly it was completed safely," said Alcoa Chairman and CEO Alain Belda.

The expansion of the Alumar Consortium's aluminum plant is part of an overall investment plan Alcoa implemented for its primary metal production operations in Brazil, totaling US$1.6 billion and includes the expansion of the Sao Luis refinery and the creation of the Juruti bauxite mine.

For aluminum production, the Alumar consortium is formed by Alcoa (60%) and BHP Billiton (40%)

About Alcoa

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 129,000 employees in 42 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