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April 15, 2002

Alcoa Adjusts Production Capacity at Two U.S. Smelters

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 15, 2002--Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) announced today the following production adjustments at two of its U.S. operating locations to balance and optimize primary metal output:

  • Delay indefinitely the planned restart of line 1 at its Warrick County, Ind. facility. That line has a capacity of 41,000 metric tons per year (mtpy);
  • Gradually restart two lines of idle capacity at the Ferndale, Wash. (Intalco) smelter over the course of the year. The restart will result in 95,000 mtpy of production this year, of which 58,000 (or 61%) is Alcoa's share.

The net result of these changes is a slight (less than 1%) increase to Alcoa's worldwide aluminum production. The company will continue to review potential adjustments as market conditions warrant.

The Warrick facility had been gradually restarting capacity since a power outage interrupted production last December. It currently is operating at approximately 85% of its 310,000-mtpy capacity and had been expected to return to full capacity during this quarter. No layoffs have occurred and none are anticipated.

The Ferndale smelter has been idle since May 2001 as part of an agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Under terms of that agreement, BPA power was sold back to the agency to help meet regional energy needs.

"Through these actions, we're able to restart lower-cost capacity while maintaining approximately the same overall production level required for our business during 2002," said Al Renken, president of Alcoa Primary Metals. "These actions demonstrate and reinforce Alcoa's commitment to effectively manage its assets during challenging economic conditions. Preparations for the Ferndale restart are underway, and we anticipate energizing one line in early May."

Once these actions are completed, Alcoa will have approximately 575,000 mtpy of idled capacity at the end of 2002 on a base primary aluminum capacity of 4.1 million mtpy.