PORT OF SPAIN, Sept. 8 -- Trinidad and Tobago's government said on Wednesday it was cancelling a $600 million project to build a 125,000 tonnes-per-year aluminum smelter in the Caribbean nation.
"In addition to the health and environmental risk, there is also serious concern as to Alutrint's viability and the optimal use of our gas. This project shall cease," Finance Minister Winston Dookeran said during a presentation of the 2010-2011 national budget.
Brazilian conglomerate Votorantim Group has a 40 percent stake in the proposed 125,000 metric-tonnes-per-year aluminum smelter complex while the Trinidad and Tobago government held the remaining 60 percent.
ChinaExim Bank was providing a credit facility of $400 million for construction of the project.
The cancellation of the Alutrint smelter complex effectively ends a court battle over the project.
The Environmental Management Authority had issued a Certificate of Environmental Clearance to Alutrint for the project. But a court quashed the certificate after anti-smelter groups and individuals filed for judicial review, claiming the EMA's decision was based on inadequate and flawed information.
EMA's appeal of that ruling was rendered moot by Wednesday's decision.