Alcoa Enters Letter Of Intent With Chinese Petroleum Coke Co
LONDON, Dec 19, 2008 (Dow Jones Commodities News) — U.S. aluminum producer Alcoa Inc (AA) has entered into a letter of intent with Weifang Lianxing Carbon Co. for the establishment of a joint venture in calcined petroleum coke production in China, it said late Thursday. The proposed joint investment was signed Thursday and includes Lianxing’s existing annual calcined coke production capacity of 300,000 metric tons, as well as an approved expansion next year of 200,000 tons. It also includes participation in Lianxing’s future capacity expansion potential, which Alcoa said is “considerable.” Calcined petroleum coke is used to make electrodes for the aluminum industry. The joint venture is located in the Binhai Economic Development Area near Weifang City in Shandong. Under the proposed terms of the deal, Alcoa will deploy Lianxing calcined coke into selected smelters across its global smelting system. The Lianxing coke will supplement Alcoa’s existing arrangements with established Chinese and Western coke producers, Alcoa said. The joint venture will draw upon the combined strengths of Lianxing in the manufacture and management capability of calcined coke, and Alcoa’s global smelting reach and technical capabilities. In addition to calcined coke, Alcoa said it is aggressively pursuing backward integration opportunities in globally competitive caustic soda production.