BHP Billiton today announced first production from the expansion of the Alumar alumina refinery in Brazil. The project, which involved upgrading the existing plant to eliminate bottlenecks and adding an extra line, is now more than 98% complete. Full mechanical completion is expected in September and the final ramp-up to full production will by the second half of the year.
The upgrade and expansion project will increase the output of the refinery by 2.0 million tons, from approximately 1.5 million metric tons to a total production capacity of 3.5 million metric tons per year for the Alumar Consortium. The Alumar Consortium is owned by Alcoa (54% share), BHP Billiton (36%) and Rio Tinto Alcan (10%).