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$2.4 billion alumina expansion planned

TWO major alumina producers have announced plans to collectively spend more than $2.4 billion on expanding their refineries within environmental guidelines. Alcoa World Alumina Australia has announced it will spend $1.5 billion to expand capacity at its Wagerup Refinery, while Worsley Alumina will spend $900 million at its refinery in Collie. Alcoa’s Wagerup Unit Three expansion, which the company says will increase production capacity by 80 per cent to 4.7 million tonnes of alumina per year, has been released for public comment by WA’s Environmental Protection Authority. Assuming the project receives the go ahead, work could begin in December this year, Alcoa said, and would take two years to complete. It has outlined an environmental management program for the expansion, which aims to minimise odour, dust and noise emissions from the plant. Provided Worsley receives government and corporate approvals, it plans to increase production from 3.5 million tonnes to 4.4 million tonnes per year, with construction due to start late next year.

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