The Melbourne-based group was commenting on its earnings outlook following the release of Q2 results of aluminium producer Alcoa in the US.

AWC’s only operating interest is a 40% share of the Alcoa-managed AWAC global alumina alliance.

AWC disclosed that it had received an $US86M fully franked dividend from AWAC in Q2. In the previous corresponding period, its dividend from AWAC was $US37M. It follows the receipt of an $US80M dividend in the first (March) quarter.

While the AWAC jv is a big alumina producer, it also owns the Point Henry aluminium smelter in Geelong and 55% of the Portland smelter. The Victorian smelters rely on coal-fired power generation, with the proposed carbon tax raising questions about their long-term competitive position.

Alumina said it could not accurately determine the financial and operational effects of the carbon tax until more detail was released. Alcoa chairman Klaus Kleinfeld forecast aluminium demand would grow 12% this year and could double by as soon as 2020.