BHP Billiton today announced approval for the Efficiency & Growth expansion project at Worsley Alumina in Western Australia for an estimated capital investment of US$1.9 billion (BHP Billiton’s 86 per cent share). This includes approximately US$70 million of sustaining capital.
The expansion project will lift capacity of the Worsley refinery from 3.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of alumina to 4.6 Mtpa (100 per cent capacity) through expanded mining operations, additional refinery capacity and upgraded port facilities.
The construction phase will start immediately and first production is expected in the first half of calendar year 2011.
BHP Billiton Aluminium President Jon Dudas said, "Worsley is one of the largest, lowest cost and most efficient alumina refineries in the world. This decision to invest in further production capacity underlines our confidence in the future of the alumina market. It also reflects our confidence in Worsley Alumina’s ability to continue its excellent track record of production growth".
Worsley Alumina is a Joint Venture partnership between BHP Billiton (86 per cent), Japan Alumina Associates (Australia) (10 per cent) and Sojitz Alumina (4 per cent).
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