The first step in the process is a feasibility study, to be conducted by Rusal, and if all goes well, the new plant could be up and running within four years, according to Indonesia’s deputy industry minister, Alex Retraubun, who met with the Russians recently.

It is likely that the proposed bauxite refinery will be located in West Kalimantan, a bauxite-rich region of the country. Rusal will spend $2 billion on the project, which will produce an estimated 1.8Mt/yr of alumina.

A lot of the alumina produced will be destined for local industry, particularly Inalum, Indonesia’s only primary (pre-bake) aluminium smelter, which is hydro-powered. The company owns three dams in Siruar, Siguragura and Tangga. The company employs 1,911 people and produces aluminium ingot.

There are three potlines of the side-by-side configuration and 510 reduction cells (or pots). Each pot can produce 1.3 tonnes of metal per day or roughly 250kt/yr.