Aluminium smelting plant set to take off

By V.P. Sujata in Ipoh

THE RM9.8bil aluminium smelting plant project, one of the country's major projects, is all set to take off in September. 

The project, to be located on 144ha in the Manjung district is now awaiting approval by the Department of Environment, which is studying its impact on the environment. 

The plant alone would cost RM7.6bil while the remaining RM2.2bil is for the setting up of a power plant called MASCO Dedicated Power Plant to complement the needs of the smelting plant. 

The main investor for the plant is a US-based Charus Development USA, which is leading a consortium of other investing countries like Hong Kong and China. 

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali said on Wednesday the project would help to increase the country's foreign direct investment at a time when the world was experiencing an economic slowdown. 

Tajol Rosli also said that the state government had set up a committee, headed by the state secretary, to oversee the construction of the plant. 

The plant, with a capacity of smelting 820,000 tonnes of aluminium per annum, is expected to be completed in 2006. 

Tajol Rosli added that among the related industries which would be needed to complement the project are factories making cables and aluminium wiring and aluminium components for the automotive and construction industries. 

“The aluminium from this plant will be used for the Proton City project and for the local construction industry. It will also be exported,” he said. About 560ha of land in the Manjung district would be developed for aluminium-based components vendors for other industries.  

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