Worsley Efficiency and Growth Project
BHP Billiton announced today the completion of the budget and schedule review for the Worsley Efficiency and Growth (E&G) project. The capital cost estimate for the project, encompassing the development of the Marradong mine, refinery expansion and connection to a multi-fuel cogeneration unit, has increased to US$2,995 million (BHP Billiton share1). First production is now scheduled for the first quarter of calendar year 2012.
BHP Billiton Chief Executive Non-Ferrous, Andrew Mackenzie, said “The US$2,860 million (100% basis), 1.1 million tonne per annum (mtpa) refinery expansion is being executed within the existing footprint of the facility, making it one of the most complex brownfield projects undertaken. Such complexity has resulted in significantly lower levels of construction progress than previously anticipated, while broader inflationary pressures and the strengthening of the Australian dollar have also contributed to the cost increase.
“Upon completion of the Worsley E&G project, the refinery will have the capacity to produce 4.6 mtpa of smelter grade alumina, confirming Worsley as one of the world’s leading alumina refineries. We remain confident that the project will add value to the business over the medium to long term as it delivers low cost production into a fundamentally strong market.”
1 Worsley Alumina is a joint venture between BHP Billiton (86 per cent), Japan Alumina Associates (Australia) Pty Ltd (10 per cent) and Sojitz Alumina Pty Ltd (four per cent).
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