Alcan to invest US$27M in flexible packaging facility in Czech Republic; aims to strengthen position in central European packaging market

MONTREAL , July 2, 2008 (press release) – Alcan Packaging, a division of Rio Tinto Alcan, announced today that it will invest euro 17 million (approximately US$27 million) in the Central European packaging market. Alcan Packaging will build a state of the art flexible packaging facility located in the Novy Bydzov area, in the Czech Republic, to supply the emergent food market.  

"This investment will strengthen our position on the fast growing Central Europe market," said Ilene Gordon, president and chief executive officer, Alcan Packaging. "It is a new and important step in Alcan Packaging's growth strategy implementation," she added.

The new plant will focus primarily on the production and printing of high quality rotogravure flexible packaging. The plant is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2009 and to employ 100 people in the first development phase.

"Our customers are growing and we will be able to better serve their needs and deliver reliable, innovative and high quality packaging materials and solutions," said Michael Cronin, president, Alcan Packaging Food Europe.

Alcan Packaging Food Europe, a business of Alcan Packaging, is the European leader in flexible packaging for the food and beverages market. Alcan Packaging Food Europe registered sales of $US2.3 billion in 2007. It operates 31 plants in 18 countries and employs 7,300 people.

Alcan Packaging is a world leader in value-added specialty packaging. It delivers multi-material innovative solutions to customers around the world for the food, pharmaceutical, beauty and tobacco markets. With 128 facilities and 30,000 employees in 31 countries, it generated US$6.2 billion revenues in 2007. For more information, please visit http://www.alcanpackaging.com.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.

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