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July 3, 2003

Alcoa Takes Steps to Upgrade Pinjarra Alumina Refinery in Western Australia; Upgrade Designed to Increase Capacity by 600,000 Metric Tons

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 3, 2003--Alcoa today announced that it had approved engineering work for a planned expansion of its Pinjarra alumina refinery in Western Australia. The project is designed to lay the foundation for a 600,000-metric ton expansion of that facility, already one of the world's most successful and cost efficient alumina refineries. The Pinjarra refinery currently produces 3.4 million metric tons of alumina per annum.

Engineering work will begin immediately and take about six months to complete. If government approvals are forthcoming and market conditions warrant, the expansion itself could be completed by 2005 and would cost approximately $270 million ($US.)

Wayne Osborn, Alcoa World Alumina Australia president and managing director of Alcoa of Australia Limited, said upgrading Pinjarra would further improve its global market competitiveness.

"This Pinjarra efficiency will improve yield and is a highly cost effective way to increase capacity by 600,000 metric tons of alumina a year," Mr. Osborn said. "As a low cost producer with secure access to bauxite reserves, the Pinjarra refinery is well positioned to capture future market opportunities," he said.

The new work at Pinjarra was announced in conjunction with the West Australian government, and Alcoa will work closely with the government on regulatory and environmental approvals for the upgrade. The final project will be designed within a strong sustainable development framework. Alcoa contributes economic and social benefits in the Peel and South West region, spending $1.1 billion (Australian) in Western Australia each year. Construction of the upgrade is expected to involve a workforce of up to 1000 people.

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 40 countries. For more information go to