Growing the Business
Growth is carefully planned with new production matched to anticipated market demands. It also focuses on low-cost refineries.
In 2017, the joint venture alumina refinery and bauxite mine development with Ma'aden in Saudi Arabia (in which AWAC has a 25.1% interest in the refinery and mine) produced 1.5 million tonnes of alumina (AWAC's share of production was 0.4 million tonnes). In 2018, this project is expected to operate aound it's nameplate capacity and will add 450,000 tonnes of low-cash cost alumina production to the AWAC portfolio.
A major plank in Alumina Limited's growth strategy is to work closely with Alcoa to maximise AWAC's performance and ensure sustained growth.
Potential expansion opportunities exist for the Australian and Brazilian refineries.
Part of the growth strategy is to have varied expansion options available across the AWAC global network. This provides the flexibility to meet the growing demand for alumina and aluminium.
Global alumina demand is expected to grow by over 6 per cent per annum over the next 5 years to 2020, growing faster than industrial consumption.
Since 1995, AWAC has steadily increased its alumina production from 9.9 million tonnes per annum to 15.9 million tonnes per annum (2014).
AWAC current (December 2017) alumina production capacity is approximately 14.1 million mtpy with actual production for 2017 at 12.5 million mtpy. The reduction in production capacity and actual production is due to AWAC's strategy to transform its asset portfolio to reduce its position on the international cost curve for alumina production by curtailing, closing or selling higher cost assets. In 2016 AWAC's Point Comfort refinery in Texas was fully curtailed and it was announced in January 2017 that the Suralco refinery in Suriname was closed.