Greenland, Alcoa Studying Sites For Hydro-Powered Aluminum Smelter

NEW YORK - The Greenland Home Rule Cabinet Friday entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with aluminum company Alcoa Inc. on a feasibility study for constructing an aluminum smelter with a 340,000 metric-ton-per-year capacity.

The project also includes a hydroelectric power system and related infrastructure improvements, including a port. The exact size and cost for the overall venture will be determined when the project plan is complete.

Under the terms of the agreement, both parties will begin site selection, environmental studies and engineering assessments. If the project is approved, ground breaking for the power system would take place in 2010 and the smelter groundbreaking in 2012. The smelter would begin operation by the end of 2014.

Sites will be researched jointly by Alcoa and the Greenland Home Rule Government. The municipalities of Nuuk, Sisimiut and Maniitsoq are currently under consideration as potential plant sites.

Upon completion, the project would be one of the largest investments in Greenland’s history and create up to 600 jobs.

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