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:: Alcoa Takes Steps to Upgrade Pinjarra Alumina Refinery in Western Australia
Alcoa has announced that it has approved engineering work for a planned expansion of its Pinjarra alumina refinery in Western Australia. The project is designed to lay the foundation for a 600,000-metric ton expansion of that facility, already one of the world's most successful and cost efficient alumina refineries. The Pinjarra refinery currently produces 3.4 million metric tons of alumina per annum.
Engineering work will begin immediately and take about six months to complete. If government approvals are forthcoming and market conditions warrant, the expansion itself could be completed by 2005 and would cost approximately $270 million ($US.)
The new work at Pinjarra was announced in conjunction with the West Australian government, and Alcoa will work closely with the government on regulatory and environmental approvals for the upgrade. The final project will be designed within a strong sustainable development framework. Alcoa contributes economic and social benefits in the Peel and South West region, spending $1.1 billion (Australian) in Western Australia each year. Construction of the upgrade is expected to involve a workforce of up to 1000 people.
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