Rusal evaluates Australian joint venture opportunity

Russian Aluminium (RUSAL), the world’s second largest aluminium producer, today signed a Letter of Intention with Australia’s Aldoga Aluminium Smelter relating to the possible joint development of a new aluminium smelter in Australia.

The letter, signed in Moscow after extensive negotiations, provides for the possibility of jointly building a large new smelter in Queensland, Australia. The document was signed by RUSAL’s Deputy General Director Alexander Livshits and by Aldoga Aluminium CEO John Benson.

Queensland’s Development minister Tom Barton, who was also present at the signing ceremony, said that the document widens perspectives for trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation between Australia and Russia.. “This event is an important milestone in the Aldoga project, an important step from the Russian Aluminium side, and once again shows that Queensland is the center of economic growth of Australia,” he said. Mr. Barton said the project would have the full support of the Federal and Queensland governments.

Mr. Livshits said that RUSAL is interested in developing partnership relations with the Australian companies. He noted that Australia, with its enormous natural resources and competitive energy market, is an optimal region for the development of aluminium production. “Construction of a new aluminium smelter is the first, but not the only, project which our company will probably develop in Queensland. In the future, we will strengthen our presence in this state,” said Mr. Livshits. RUSAL sees cooperation with Australian partners as an important element of its international strategy of geographical diversification.

RUSAL is the second largest primary aluminium producer in the world, formed in March 2000 from the merger of a number of the largest smelters and other aluminium producers located in the CIS. The Company accounts for 75% of Russia's primary aluminium output and 10% of the global primary aluminium output. RUSAL is a fully vertically integrated company with a complete production cycle from bauxite mining and the production of raw materials, to the production of primary metal, semi-products and aluminium-based end products. RUSAL is headquartered in Moscow.

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