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November 2003

Alcan Develops Resourceful Treatment for Industrial Residue

Montreal, Canada— Alcan Inc. has developed a value-creating and sustainable solution for the treatment of spent potlining (SPL) and will invest up to $150 million (Canadian) in the construction of a treatment plant in the Saguenay - Lac-Saint-Jean region.

“We are particularly proud since the technology we will be using at this plant was developed by Alcan’s R&D team in the province of Quebec,” said Cynthia Carroll, president of Alcan’s Primary Metal Group. “This home-grown technology will not only treat the SPL, but also completely recycle the component substances. We have here a great example of Alcan innovation and our commitment to finding sustainable and financially attractive solutions. The new plant will be an example for the rest of the aluminum industry. “

The 80,000 ton-per-year treatment facility will be built in Saguenay and will create 50 new direct jobs in the region. It will use Alcan’s low caustic leaching & liming (LCLL) process. Construction is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2004.

The new treatment plant will reduce Alcan’s treatment costs and will provide the opportunity to treat the SPL of other aluminum producers.

Alcan will now proceed with obtaining the necessary governmental and environmental authorizations, and is encouraged by the interest of both federal and provincial governments, which have already recognized the value of the technology and the potential for commercialization.

Spent potlining is the material removed from the bottom of electrolytic cells used to produce aluminum. Over the course of their five-to-eight year lifespan, various chemicals accumulate in the lining of the cells during smelting. The lining must be treated or stored in accordance with government regulations. Finding an effective way to treat SPL has been a crucial environmental issue for the aluminum industry.


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