In May 2007, the Greenland Home Rule Government (now Greenland Self-Rule Government) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Alcoa to cooperate on a feasibility study for constructing an aluminum smelter with an approximately 340,000 metric-tons-per-year capacity in Greenland.

The MOU also encompasses a hydroelectric power system and related infrastructure improvements, including a port. The exact size and cost for the overall venture will be determined when the project plan is finalized. If the viability of the project is proved, the smelter could commence operation within five years from the date of a final decision to go ahead.

The Greenland Home Rule Government and Alcoa began site selection, environmental studies, engineering assessments, and other aspects of the project in 2007. Preferred sites for the proposed smelter were collaboratively identified by Alcoa and the Greenland Home Rule Government. The three municipalities selected as potential locations—Nuuk, Sisimiut, and Maniitsoq—supported the project and took an active part in the continued work.

In May 2008, the parliament of Greenland strongly endorsed the Greenland Home Rule Government's recommendation that the proposed smelter be sited at Maniitsoq and allocated significant funding to support the joint studies. These studies are delving, in detail, into the economic, social, and environmental aspects of the proposed facility.

Initial study results have revealed that some aspects of the proposed project related to the provision of energy, construction, and infrastructure require additional investigation. This is currently underway, with the Greenland Self-Rule Government and Alcoa working together to assess all the available options. Some of the options under consideration carry the potential to extend the time required to complete the project, but others offer potential for gains that would help reduce such an extension.

During its fall session in 2012, the parliament of Greenland passed legislation that defines a framework for the development of potential large-scale projects in the country. The parliament also reconfirmed the government’s mandate for conducting further studies of the aluminum project. Alcoa will continue to consult with the Greenland Self-Rule Government to evaluate the impact of the framework legislation on the feasibility of the proposed project.

Upon completion, the project would represent one of the largest investments in Greenland's history, stimulate economic growth and manufacturing diversity, create around 600 direct, stable jobs, and contribute to increasing Greenland's overall productivity and economic self-support. Alcoa is strongly committed to maximizing local employment and business participation in the proposed project and will invest significant effort and resources in partnerships with local educational, training, and business organizations to achieve this.

The smelter would use world-class smelting technology and work practices to protect workforce and community health. In addition, Alcoa recognizes the critical importance of fishing and hunting to the local community and is committed to the protection of the environments that support these activities as the proposed hydro and smelter facilities are planned, designed, developed, and operated.

Additional information about the project can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section.