Refinery Site Selection Announcement
Remarks by Larry Grace, Alcoa and Bernard Bosca, Alcan announcing the selection of Kabata as the proposed location of a 1.5 MT alumina refinery.
July 13, 2007
Members of the Guinean public and private press
- First, on behalf of the Alcoa-Alcan Refinery Guinea project team, I welcome you and thank you for your presence here today.
- As most of you would know, in 2005, a Basic Agreement between Alcoa, Alcan and the Government of Guinea was concluded, and promulgated into law in 2006, for development of a 1.50 million tonnes per year alumina refinery in Guinea with expansion potential to 4.5 million tonnes per year.
- We take this opportunity to thank the President of the Republic of Guinea, and all the Guinean authorities for the ratification, and promulgation into law, of the Basic Agreement.
- Mr. Secretary General, we thank you, as well as the officials and professionals from the ministries involved, for the cooperative and professional manner in which this Project is being managed.
- This Project, which represents a great opportunity to optimize the bauxite reserves of Guinea, could create a leading-edge, world class alumina refinery with the potential to generate long-term benefits for the people of Guinea and the other project stakeholders for the future.
- This press conference has been called to highlight a significant milestone towards realization of this project.
- Yesterday, we officially informed the Ministry of Mines and Geology, Boké regional authorities and the six communities that had been identified as potential sites for the proposed refinery that, after having conducted studies of the six sites, looking at technical, social and economic criteria, a site near Kabata, north of Kamsar, was selected as the best location for both construction and future operation of the proposed refinery.
- Site selection is a significant milestone in the project's development as it is a key component of the Project's pre-feasibility study, which is currently underway. With this behind us, we will soon initiate the detailed feasibility study, which focuses on aspects such as engineering, financing and legal matters for completion in 2009. The detailed feasibility study will ultimately provide the information required to make a definitive investment decision soon thereafter. Following such decision, alumina production could be expected in 2012.
- Site selection also enables the Project partners to move forward with activities agreed upon with the Government of Guinea regarding the Resettlement Action Plan, following from consultations with local communities which have been on-going since 2004. In accordance with the guidelines of the Government, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank, affected residents would be compensated by replacement of assets, which would be measured during a detailed survey and an environmental and social impact assessment. The details of such compensation would ultimately be discussed and agreed with the affected residents and the Government of Guinea.
- We would also like to thank the communities of the six pre-selected sites for their contribution towards development of the refinery project over the past years. While only one site has been selected to host the refinery, all six communities will reap the socio-economic benefits that accompany development of this scale, which include:
- Thousands of direct jobs for Guineans during construction and hundreds once the refinery would be operational.
- Thousands of indirect jobs.
- Increased tax revenues.
- Improved utilization of the Guinean bauxite resource base through execution of a Bauxite Supply Agreement with Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG).
- Development of related industries and sectors.
- But beyond these benefits, the Project partners will also support Guinea in meeting its poverty-reduction targets and its sustainable development objectives. Tangibly, this means that, in addition to the long-standing investments made by CBG and those made by the Alcoa Foundation, in 2007, Alcoa and Alcan will also initiate a functional literacy program for 600 people in the six sites that had been pre-selected. Beyond its obvious merits, this will support development of a skilled local labour pool for the proposed refinery.
- Separately, the Project partners are also pleased to announce that they will initiate projects related to training, rice farming improvement, and access to potable water for the sites that were not selected for the refinery project.
- As you can see, it goes beyond just simple engagement. It's about taking pride in doing all things right. And so, you can rest assured that, with the strength of Alcoa and Alcan's values, their know-how, technological expertise; and management and operational experience of large scale projects, the proposed refinery would be best-in-class, built and operated according to the most stringent standards in the world.
- To this end, we look forward to our ongoing partnership with Guineans. To kick things off, we would like to celebrate the refinery site selection by offering support to the community, both logistical and financial, in organizing celebratory festivities in the next few weeks at a time and site to be announced.
- Thank you again Mr. Secretary General for your attendance and continuing support for the project.
- Thank you for your attention and for having joined us here today.