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Brunei Economic Development Board and Alcoa Sign MOU To Study Feasibility of a Brunei Smelter
PITTSBURGH & BRUNEI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 25, 2003--The Brunei
Economic Development Board (BEDB) and Alcoa Inc. today announced they
have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to undertake a
feasibility study on the establishment of an aluminium smelting plant
and its associated infrastructure in Brunei Darussalam.
This initiative is part of BEDB's two-pronged strategy to kick
start Brunei Darussalam's economic diversification and create
opportunities for its people. It is an integral part of the plans to
develop downstream and manufacturing industries, power supply and
infrastructure in the major industrial site of Sungai Liang.
The objective of the MOU is to commit the BEDB and Alcoa to a
feasibility study that will enable both parties to arrive at a
mutually acceptable determination of the overall concept of the
aluminium smelting plant. The MOU also details conditions necessary
before a Final Investment Decision can be made. An assessment of the
environmental impact of the establishment of the aluminium smelting
plant will form an integral part of the study. Alcoa will carry out
the study in 2 phases over a period of 24 months, beginning in the
fourth quarter of 2003. The BEDB's role under this MOU will be to
provide support and assistance to Alcoa in undertaking this study.
Commenting on this MOU, Dato Haji Yusof Haji Hamid, Chairman of
the BEDB said, "We are very pleased to welcome a company of Alcoa's
global standing to Brunei Darussalam. Alcoa's interest to establish an
aluminium smelting plant is a natural fit in BEDB's strategy to
diversify Brunei Darussalam's economy. This project has the potential
to bring in foreign direct investment and create some 1000 direct
jobs. Local SME will also be able to take advantage of the many spin
Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminium,
fabricated aluminium and alumina recording USD 20.3 billion in revenue
in 2002. It operates in more than 350 locations in 40 countries and is
active in all major aspects of the aluminium industry - technology,
mining, refining, smelting, power generation, fabricating and
recycling. Alcoa is interested in exploring the possible expansion of
its primary aluminium production capacity and believes that the Brunei
Darussalam project will fit in with its long-term business objectives.
"Alcoa is always exploring ways we can both build our business and
lower our position on the global cost curve in terms of primary
aluminium production. This feasibility study is a natural extension of
that work," said Mike Baltzell, President of Alcoa Primary Development
Group. "We are very careful with our Company's capital resources.
Feasibility studies, such as this one, help us better understand the
requirements - from a financial, social and environmental standpoint
-- and the possible returns we might expect from an investment. The
Brunei Economic Development Board has been extremely cooperative and
strategic in the process and we look forward to continuing our work
together on this study," said Baltzell.
"Our ongoing efforts to attract major players to invest in long
term sustainable projects within Brunei Darussalam are evidently
producing results," said John Perry, Chief Executive Officer of the
BEDB, "It is now essential that we capture that interest by focussing
on the implementation of our strategy."
Forward Looking Statement
Certain statements in this release relate to future events and
expectations and as such constitute forward-looking statements
involving known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause
actual results, performance or achievements of Alcoa to be different
from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements.
Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially
from those in the forward-looking statements include the company's
inability to complete feasibility studies, unexpected changes in
global economic, business, competitive, market and regulatory factors,
and the other risk factors summarized in Alcoa's 2002 Form 10-K Report
and other SEC reports.