Rio Tinto Alcan plans Algerian smelter

26 April 2010

Canadian company in talks with North African state over new aluminium plant

Canada’s Rio Tinto Alcan has opened discussions with the Algerian government regarding the construction of an aluminium smelter, according to Canadian news reports.

Stefano Bertolli, a spokesman from the company, is quoted as saying that Rio Tinto Alcan is looking at the prospect of developing an aluminium plant in the gas-rich North African state.

He added that most projects of that nature start with an initial capacity of 460,000 tonnes-a-year (t/y), which can then be doubled by initiating a second phase. However, Bertolli stressed that talks were in the early stages.

Rio Tinto Alcan, a subsidiary of the UK/Australian resources giant Rio Tinto, declined to comment further when contacted by email.

The project is totally unconnected to the $5bn Beni Saf Aluminium Smelter project currently being planned by the UAE-based Emirates Aluminium (Emal) and the Algerian state-owned Sonatrach.

When completed Beni Saf will have a capacity of 500,000-t/y, with the aim of increasing capacity to 1.5 million-t/y over three phases.

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