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July 14, 2011

Environmental Performance Enhanced at Alcoa’s San Ciprian, Spain, Alumina Refinery

Switch to Natural Gas from Fuel Oils Reduces GHG emissions

NEW YORK--Alcoa’s (NYSE:AA) San Ciprian, Spain, facility is improving the energy efficiency and environmental performance of its alumina refinery by switching from fuel oil to natural gas.

This week, Alcoa Europe Vice President José Ramón Camino and Regional Minister of Economics and Industry Javier Guerra were on site during the installation of the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tanks at the San Ciprian alumina complex.

The move to natural gas is the result of a joint effort by the Regional Minister of Economics and Industry and Alcoa for sustainable development. Start-up of this equipment is the first step in the progressive substitution of fuel oil for natural gas, which is expected to result in cost savings, and will end once the Mariña pipeline, scheduled for 2013, becomes operational. In this first phase, using natural gas instead of fuel oil will result in an estimated annual 20,000 ton reduction of CO2 emissions.

“We anticipate significant environmental benefits with the change to natural gas,” said Camino. “Alcoa’s sustainability approach involves collaborating with key stakeholders to make decisions that are mutually beneficial to preserve our environment.”

LNG storage will supply about 8 percent of total consumption at the refinery. Currently, the alumina refinery consumes 300,000 tons of fuel oil per year.

Alcoa Spain is committed to sustainable development, energy efficiency and environmental performance. In 2008, Alcoa Spain was the first industrial company to sign an agreement with the Ministry of Environment and the Galician Regional Government (La Xunta) for the voluntary reduction of greenhouse gases. Similarly, investments in the factory have been directed towards improving the environmental performance of its production processes. The Alcoa San Ciprian plant is a world leader among the industrial sector in both environmental and occupational safety.

The Alcoa industrial complex at San Ciprian includes an alumina plant, a primary aluminum factory, and common services facilities. It has a production capacity of a million and a half tons of alumina per year, and another 250,000 tons of aluminum each year.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for nine consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at