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March 14, 2003

Iceland's Environmental Agency Issues Operating Permit for Alcoa's Fjardaal Plant

PITTSBURGH & REYDARFJORDUR--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 14, 2003-- Iceland's Environmental Agency today issued an Operating Permit for Alcoa's proposed Fjardaal primary aluminum smelter in Eastern Iceland.

The Permit establishes environmental operating conditions and emission limits for the plant, which is being designed for maximum production of 322,000-metric-tons-per-year of primary aluminum per year.

The new Alcoa plant will have significantly less environmental impact than an earlier design for the location for four basic reasons:

  • Alcoa will not dispose of spent pot lining, a by-product of the aluminum production process, on the site in Iceland.
  • Carbon anodes will not be manufactured at the Iceland plant, eliminating a source of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOX) and hydrocarbon (PAH) emissions.
  • Alcoa is designing the plant to achieve strict, self-imposed sustainable development objectives, including zero process water discharge.
  • The annual production level of the plant will be approximately 25% below that planned for the original plant.

While the Alcoa plant will bolster the local economy in East Iceland, it will not require as many resources as the original design. The smaller size of the Alcoa facility, in addition to the state-of-the art technology planned for Fjardaal, ensures that it will consume less electricity (22% less), fuel (33% less) and water (58% less) than the original proposal. Alcoa's study also projects that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will be 25% less, PFC emissions will be 40% less, and nitrogen oxide (NOX) will be 80% less than under the original proposal. The Permit establishes stringent gaseous fluoride limits in ambient air and Fjardaal expects to achieve performance targets that are among the lowest in the world.

Welcoming the Environmental Agency's issuance of the permit to Fjardaal, Alcoa Chairman and CEO Alain Belda said, "Alcoa's commitment to the environment and sustainable operating practices helped secure the operating permit, an essential step to this investment."

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina, 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 as a single solution to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) aluminum foil, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 127,000 employees in 39 countries. For more information go to