A Votorantim official said that the Brazilian industrial conglomerate will replace Venezuelan-based aluminium producer Sural, which had a 40% stake in the Trinidad project but withdrew in 2009 due to financing problems.

Alutrint is Trinidad and Tobago government-owned and has a 60% stake in the smelter project.

Marco Palmieri, director of Votorantim Metals Aluminium Business, said the Trinidad and Tobago smelter would be one of the most competitive in the world, using technology provided by the Chinese.

China’s Exim Bank is providing credit of $400M for construction of the project whose main contractor is CMEC, also of China. The smelter complex is estimated to cost between $500M-$600M.