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Newfoundland evaluating Alcoa study

THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT of Newfoundland in Canada is evaluating a study prepared by US aluminum producer Alcoa to develop hydroelectric facilities and an aluminum processing plant in the province. The Alcoa feasibility study examines the viability of reviving the stalled Lower Churchill hydroelectric project and the possibility of building one or more aluminum production facilities in the Labrador region.

A plan unveiled in 1998, but put on hold due to difficulties with arranging financing, called for a 3200MW hydro project on the Churchill river. The new proposal has the potential to develop 2000MW and is expected to cost about US$1.6B. Alcoa has said it is also looking at the economic viability of developing an aluminum smelter or smelters in the province, using energy from the proposed Lower Churchill plant.