Alcoa’s Board of Directors has approved plans for the company’s Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC) affiliate to join with the Government of Jamaica to expand the Jamalco alumina refinery in
The expansion will add 1.5 million metric tons per year (mtpy) of production to Jamalco, more than doubling the refinery’s capacity to approximately 2.8 million mtpy. The cost for the 1.5 million mtpy expansion is expected to be approximately $1.2 billion which includes costs for a power station, as well as high hurricane wind and earthquake requirements for construction in
The first phase of this expansion, which will add 150,000 mtpy, was announced in May and should be completed by the end of 2006. The second phase, which adds approximately 1.35 million mtpy, is expected to be completed by the end of 2007. As part of this expansion project, AWAC’s ownership in Jamalco will move from 50 percent to approximately 77 percent. The government of
Prior to the execution of the expansion, it is expected that agreements will be finalised to bring natural gas to
The groundwork for expansion at Jamalco was laid when the Jamaican government took action to remove a nearly 30-year-old levy on bauxite to help encourage additional investment in the country’s alumina refineries. Since that levy was removed and AWAC invested in an initial expansion, Jamalco’s costs have been reduced significantly, making it among the world’s lowest-cost refineries.
AWAC is a global alliance between Alcoa and Alumina Ltd, with Alcoa holding 60 percent.