ECONOMY

Alcan ponders investment in Viotia power plant

A financial and technical study on the prospects for a steam- and electricity-producing plant in the prefecture of Viotia will determine whether Canada’s Alcan will continue to co-finance the project or divest itself of the shares it holds in Aluminium of Greece. Prospects appear positive, but the final decisions on production will be made after the completion of the study, expected for the end of the year. In any case, Alcan wants to sell a majority stake in Aluminium of Greece, up to 60 percent. According to sources, several metals groups have expressed interest and have submitted non-binding bids at the headquarters of French bank Credit Lyonnais, in Paris. The sale of the stake in Aluminium of Greece, itself part of the Pechiney group of companies, is expected to take place in the final quarter of this year. Aluminium of Greece was founded in 1960 by Pechiney and is one of the most important Greek companies. An almost exclusively exporting company, it has been heavily affected by the drop in the dollar relative to the euro. It employs 2,000 people and produces aluminum and alumina (aluminum oxide) using bauxite as its raw material, which it gets both from a company-owned mine and from S&B Industrial Minerals (formerly Silver & Baryte).