Alcoa Inc, the world’s leading producer of aluminium, has finalised a strategic alliance with Aluminium Corporation of China (Chalco), the largest producer of primary aluminium in China. Alcoa expects the alliance to lead to a series of joint ventures in China. The first will be a proposed 50/50 joint venture at Chalco’s facility in Pingguo, Guangxi province. The partners plan to double the facility’s alumina refining capacity to 800,000 tonnes a year by 2003. Chalco said it would invest US$540m over the next five years in the joint venture.
As part of the alliance, Alcoa will also be a strategic investor in Chalco’s proposed listing in New York and Hong Kong, giving it 8 per cent of the group’s total shares and a seat on the board of the company.