Alcan Hires Bechtel to Conduct Kitimat Smelter Expansion Study

Alcan Inc. announced that it has signed a contract with Bechtel to produce a detailed feasibility study and preliminary engineering to confirm the cost estimate and overall project and execution schedule of the planned expansion of Alcan's Kitimat smelter as announced on August 14, 2006. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. (See related story on p. 4).

The contract with Bechtel aims to provide all the planning, engineering and site investigation work necessary to submit to Alcan’s board of directors for final approval of the project. The project is subject to certain conditions including environmental permits and the successful conclusion of agreements with B.C. Hydro and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union. Alcan reached an agreement with CAW in May 2007 and is currently working to satisfy the other two conditions.

The scope of Bechtel's work includes the tendering process of long-lead purchases for the planned smelter, such as busbar, cathode shells, pot room cranes and pot gas scrubbing systems. Bechtel's work will apply the engineering and process design that has been developed for the Kitimat smelter, which will employ AP3X technology, and will incorporate all local building codes and site conditions necessary to move to the execution phase of the project.

The Kitimat smelter modernization would increase Alcan's annual global primary aluminum production by more than 4% and make Kitimat not only one of Alcan’s largest wholly-owned smelters, but also one of the three largest in North America. Kitimat’s aluminum production capacity would increase by 40% and reduce GHG emissions by 500,000 tons per year.