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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: April 17th 2003


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:: South African Government Stumps Up $500m for Aluminium Project

The South African government has weighed in with crucial financial and infrastructural support for the construction of a $2 billion Pechiney aluminium smelter at Coega, the deep water harbour on South Africa's Eastern Cape Coast. The state-owned power utility and the parastatal Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) will also each take 12.5 percent equity in the project.

Pechiney is the world's fourth largest aluminium producer and has long been hatching plans to build a smelter producing 460 000 tons a year of export-dedicated aluminium with capacity to extend to 500 000 tons a year.Roughly 4,500 jobs will be created during the construction stage of the smelter.

There is also provision to construct a second line of similar size which, if completed, would make it the largest aluminium smelter in the world. The development of the smelter will create 1,000 permanent jobs and provide a much-needed boost to Coega, which has struggled to attract capital investment in the past, after plans for a Billiton Zinc smelter fell through in 1999 and similar ambitions for a German-backed Stainless Steel mill at the same site collapsed in 2001.




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