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Feasibility study for Worsley Alumina

JOINT venture partners in the Worsley Alumina project, BHP Billiton (86 per cent), Japan Alumina Associates (10 per cent) and Sojitz Alumina Pty Ltd (4 per cent), have begun a full feasibility study to increase production at the Worsley refinery to 4.3 million tones a year. The feasibility study into the efficiency and growth project is due to be completed in the middle of 2006. Subject to the government and corporate approval, construction will start in October-November 2006 and commissioning will begin at the end of 2008. The feasibility study will report on an expansion of mining and ore transport operations, changes to the existing overland conveyor and modifications and upgrades to the refinery. The expansion is expected to cost $900 million. The joint venture partners have contracted Bachtel to deliver engineering procurement and construction management services covering the feasibility, transition and execution phases of the expansion. Worsley Alumina general manager Pete Wilshaw said Bachtel had been chosen because of its demonstrated international experience in the alumina industry. He said proposed design, technology and process involvements would enhance Worsley’s reputation as a low-cost producer. The work would also deliver important environmental performance improvements through better emission control, water use and energy efficiency.

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