Gladstone possible site of new smelter

By GLEN PORTEOUSglenp@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

GLADSTONE could be in the running for a new aluminium smelter, if Russian aluminium giant RUSAL goes ahead with plans to expand in Australia.

RUSAL chief executive Alexander Bulygin said Australia was 'the zone of our special interest'.

"With a favourable investment climate, Australia offers a competitive advantage for aluminium smelting in the future,'' Mr Bulygin said.

Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board (GEIDB) chief executive Dr Ken King said Gladstone would be an ideal location for the smelter.

'There is access of port facilities, availability of land and a strong range of support industries,' Mr King said.

He said RUSAL had already invested in Gladstone, having purchased a 20 per cent, $530 million share in Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) last year.

'With current investment in a major industry here they should be confident enough to further increase their investment here,' Mr King said.

Key factors for RUSAL would be the completion of the PNG gas pipeline and state government plans for the Aurukun bauxite deposit.



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