Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals

Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals

Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals is a joint venture between Alumina Limited (40% share) and Alcoa (60% share) and is abbreviated to AWAC. AWAC's business is the mining of bauxite, the extraction of alumina (aluminium oxide) and the smelting of aluminium. It has about 25% of the global alumina market. Alcoa acts as the day-to-day manager.

Australian operations

Alcoa has two smelters in Victoria, located at Portland and Point Henry in Victoria. It has three alumina refineries in Western Australia, located at Kwinana, Pinjarra and Wagerup, and two bauxite mines at Huntly and Willowdale, also in Western Australia.cite web
title=Alcoa in Australia

Portland smelter

The Portland smelter produces about 360,000 tonnes of aluminium a year, and is Victoria's largest single exporter.cite web
title=The Age - 'Greenhouse showdown over smelter' - May 21, 2006

The smelter has been the subject of significant controversy since its inception in 1986. In 1984, under the leadership of John Cain, the ALP government signed a joint venture agreement with Alcoa to build an aluminium smelter at Portland. The State Government entered into a deal with Alcoa, which provides for subsidised electricity until 2016, at a price linked to the world price of aluminium. It is estimated that the cost of electricity for the smelter is $14 per MWh (1.4 cents per kWh), [cite web
title=Hal Turton - 'The Aluminium Smelting Industry' - January 2002
] and that it has cost the state more than $2 billion over 20 years.

The Portland smelter is believed to consume between 18 and 25 per cent of the state's electricity. Given that most of this energy is derived from brown coal in the Latrobe Valley, the production of aluminium is a significant contributor to Victoria's greenhouse emissions.

Point Henry smelter

The Point Henry smelter commenced full production in April 4 1963. It has a production capacity of 185,000 tonnes of aluminium a year. [cite web
title=Alcoa - About Point Henry
] March 20 1969 saw Alcoa's own brown coal fired Anglesea Power Station brought on line at augment the electricity supply from the Victorian grid. ["R. Arklay and I. Sayer" - 'Geelong's Electric Supply' - September 1970]

ee also

* Alumina
* Aluminium smelting
* Alcoa
* Alumina Limited
* Australian Aluminium Council
* List of Alumina Refineries
* List of aluminium smelters


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