Alcoa approves next phase of five-year, US$2.1B investment plan for three smelters in Quebec that is expected to increase production capacity by 120,000 tonnes/year, reduce GHG emissions; plan includes 25-year power contracts for all three smelters

NEW YORK and MONTREAL , November 15, 2011 (press release) – Program will significantly improve Alcoa’s cost position; reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Alcoa (NYSE:AA - News) announced today the Company has approved the next phase of a 5-year, $2.1 billion investment plan for its Baie-Comeau, Deschambault and Becancour smelters in Quebec. The plan will move the Quebec smelters down the aluminum cost curve by 13 percentage points and contribute to Alcoa’s goal of achieving an overall 10-point improvement. The plan will also increase production capacity by 120,000 metric tons per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan includes 25-year power contracts for all three smelters and allows the aluminum smelter in Baie-Comeau to immediately undertake the last engineering phase of its modernization project, with plans to have a new potline in service by the end of 2015. In addition, the preliminary engineering phase of the Deschambault smelter’s amperage increase project will be launched as early as the end of this year. The investments will allow Alcoa to optimize every mega-watt-hour of power used in the Quebec smelters.

As part of the modernization at Baie-Comeau, the older smelting pots using Soderberg technology will be replaced with an all-new electrolysis potline developed by Alcoa with an annual production capacity of 160,000 metric tons. These enhancements will reduce the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent. Through technology advancements made at Alcoa’s global Smelting Center of Excellence, the plan will also allow Deschambault to increase its amperage to 405,000 amperes by 2016, increasing the plant’s capacity by 25,000 metric tons per year.

Roughly 6,800 job-years will be sustained during the construction phase of the Baie-Comeau modernization, generating about $500 million in economic spin-offs.

“The Government of Québec has clearly envisioned the mutual benefits stemming from this new investment plan, and that’s what enables us to look to the future with confidence,” said Pierre Morin, President of Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products. “Moving to this next phase in our development program is cause for celebration for our families as well as our communities. I want to thank all our employees who have been essential collaborators in this initiative.”

The five-year investment plan will have positive economic impacts on Québec as well. Alcoa will provide $50 million into an economic development fund managed by the Government of Québec, and create a $25 million Sustainable Development Fund dedicated to its three host communities. This fund is in addition to the partnership agreement of $3 million that Alcoa recently signed with the new Centre for Sustainable Development located in the heart of Montréal.

Alcoa in Canada

In Québec, Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products (GPP Canada) is composed of the Bécancour (ABI), Baie-Comeau and Deschambault smelters, as well as the Bécancour Rod Plant. These four plants have an annual production capacity of almost one million metric tons of ingots, castings, billets and aluminum rods. Alcoa counts roughly 3,400 employees in Québec and its activities generate more than $1.2 billion in economic spin-offs annually in the province. Further information is available at

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 10 consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at

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