18 April 2008

Alcan Composites, a division of Alcan Engineered Products, has officially inaugurated its new Core Materials conversion centre in Shanghai, China.

Rio  Tinto  Alcan  is  pleased  to  announce  that  Alcan  Composites,  a  division  of  Alcan Engineered Products, has officially inaugurated its new Core Materials conversion centre in  Shanghai,  China  at  a  ceremony  attended  by  local  officials,  industrial  association representatives, customers and management. The investment, announced in June 2007, is a clear demonstration of Alcan Engineered  Products’ growth strategy in action in the fast-developing Asia Pacific market..

China  and  the  Asia  Pacific  markets  are  of  strategic  importance  not  only  for  the Composites business but also for the Engineered Products unit. The combination of local sales and technical service capabilities along with our own manufacturing plants will allow us to grow even faster in the region,” said Georg Reif, president, Alcan Composites.  

Located in the Shanghai Tangzhen industrial zone, the Alcan Composites Core Materials centre  presently  employs  30  people.  It  is  already  operational  and  is  equipped  with dedicated lines for the transformation of AIREX® plastic foam and BALTEK® balsa-based core  materials  used  by  fabricators  to  make  innovative  sandwich  structure  solutions.  In addition  to  the  transformation  capacity,  the  new  centre  includes  sales  and  technical services to provide customers with local market knowledge and expertise. 

This new conversion centre will enable us to offer leading-edge composite core materials and will improve our lead times and services to our customers in the Chinese and Asia-Pacific wind energy and mass transportation markets,” added Pierre Monéton, president, Core Materials, Alcan Composites.  

AIREX® and  BALTEK® core  materials  are  used  by  manufacturers  to  create  innovative lightweight  sandwich  structures  for  the  wind  energy,  marine  and  ground  transportation markets. Thanks to their light weight, the final products allow better energy efficiency over their whole life cycle. 

Alcan Composites Core Materials is a global organization with over 1,500 employees in production locations in Europe, North America, Ecuador and now China. It is part of Alcan Composites,  a  global  unit  employing  2,700  employees  active  in  manufacturing  and commercializing branded products for visual communication, architecture, transportation and industrial markets. Alcan Composites has been present in South East Asia with sales offices in Singapore since 1991, a manufacturing plant for ALUCOBOND® facade panels since 1999 in Shanghai, China and a paint line factory in Changzhou, China since 2006. Alcan Composites is part of the Engineered Products unit, a division of Rio Tinto Alcan.  

About Rio Tinto  

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. 

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are  aluminium,  copper,  diamonds,  energy  (coal  and  uranium),  gold,  industrial  minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa. 

Forward-Looking Statements  

This announcement includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding Rio Tinto’s financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to Rio Tinto’s products, production forecasts and reserve and resource positions), are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Rio Tinto, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  

Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding Rio Tinto’s present and future business strategies and the environment in which Rio Tinto will operate in the future. Among the important factors that could cause Rio Tinto’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others, levels of actual production during any period, levels of demand and market prices, the ability to produce and transport products profitably, the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on market prices and operating costs, operational problems, political uncertainty and economic conditions in relevant areas of the world, the actions of competitors, activities by governmental authorities such as changes in taxation or regulation and such other risk factors identified in Rio Tinto's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") or Form 6-Ks furnished to the SEC. Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such risk factors and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Rio Tinto expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking (except as required by applicable law, the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Takeover Code”), the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Services Authority and the Listing Rules of the Australian Securities Exchange) to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Rio Tinto’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Nothing in this announcement should be interpreted to mean that future earnings per share of Rio Tinto plc or Rio Tinto Limited will necessarily match or exceed its historical published earnings per share. 

Subject to the requirements of the Takeover Code, none of Rio Tinto, any of its officers or any person named in this announcement with their consent or any person involved in the preparation of this announcement makes any representation or warranty (either express or  implied)  or   gives  any  assurance  that  the   implied   values,  anticipated  results, performance  or  achievements  expressed  or  implied  in  forward-looking  statements contained in this announcement will be achieved.  


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Alcan Composites opens new Chinese conversion centre (PDF)

Media contacts

Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations, China

Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations, Canada