NEW YORK, Mar 03, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today announced that it has finalized a deal with ORKLA ASA to acquire full ownership of the technology associated with the carbothermic aluminum production process, previously jointly owned by the companies.
Now in the research and development phase, the carbothermic aluminum production process is a new technology that holds the potential to produce aluminum at a lower cost, driven by reduced conversion costs, lower energy requirements, and lower emissions at a lower capital cost than traditional smelting. The technology also holds potential for significant cost improvements in the production of other metals.
"Alcoa will continue research on the carbothermic production process that we pioneered and have advanced with Orkla's support over the past few years," said John Thuestad, group president of Alcoa's Global Primary Products. "If successful, the carbothermic process would allow for economical operation of smaller facilities with flexible power supplies that the current generation of smelters cannot meet. This would improve the ability to site new facilities."
The research facility will be relocated to Alcoa's facility in Lista, Norway, and several key research employees will transfer to Alcoa.
"Alcoa chose the Lista site to continue research on this potentially breakthrough technology because of the skills of the Alcoa Norway team and the supportive environment Norway provides for innovation," said Thuestad. "We believe this is the right place to continue developing Carbothermic technology."