It has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Angolan Government about the smelter which would use power from hydroelectric facilities under consideration by the Government.

Under the agreement, both sides will begin a series of feasibility studies to determine the viability of the project. The MOU provides for a 12-month exclusivity period to negotiate a power contract and cooperation agreement.

If the project moves forward, first metal from the smelter would be produced in 2020.

Angola has plenty of capacity for developing hydroelectric facilities and intends to use that capacity to attract energy intensive industries to the country.

The country has committed to allocate 1300MW megawatts of firm power capacity for the aluminum industry.

“Alcoa is interested in pursuing projects that lower our cost position,” said Ken Wisnoski, president of Alcoa’s Growth group.

“We believe the Angola Government’s proposal to provide hydroelectric power offers great potential and we are pleased to have the opportunity to work together on feasibility studies.”