Alcoa Acquires Full Ownership of Carbothermic Smelting Technology
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ALCOA Bldg., 201 Isabella St.
Pittsburgh, PA, 15212
Press release date: March 3, 2011
NEW YOR - Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today announced that it has finalized a deal with ORKLA ASA to acquire full ownership of the technology associated with the carbothermic aluminum production process, previously jointly owned by the companies.
Now in the research and development phase, the carbothermic aluminum production process is a new technology that holds the potential to produce aluminum at a lower cost, driven by reduced conversion costs, lower energy requirements, and lower emissions at a lower capital cost than traditional smelting. The technology also holds potential for significant cost improvements in the production of other metals.
"Alcoa will continue research on the carbothermic production process that we pioneered and have advanced with Orkla's support over the past few years," said John Thuestad, group president of Alcoa's Global Primary Products. "If successful, the carbothermic process would allow for economical operation of smaller facilities with flexible power supplies that the current generation of smelters cannot meet. This would improve the ability to site new facilities."
The research facility will be relocated to Alcoa's facility in Lista, Norway, and several key research employees will transfer to Alcoa.
"Alcoa chose the Lista site to continue research on this potentially breakthrough technology because of the skills of the Alcoa Norway team and the supportive environment Norway provides for innovation," said Thuestad. "We believe this is the right place to continue developing Carbothermic technology."
Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world's largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoaź wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa's operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for nine consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.