Alcan Packaging builds new plant in Czech Republic

Alcan Packaging - a business unit of Rio Tinto Alcan - celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of its new, state-of-the-art flexible packaging facility in Nový Bydžov, Czech Republic, with local government officials, senior Alcan Packaging executives and employees in attendance.

- The central European packaging market is strategically important and represents an attractive growth opportunity for Alcan Packaging - Michael Cronin, President, Alcan Packaging Food Europe. - This investment expands our presence in the Czech Republic and we intend to continue building on our local team's expertise to surpass customer needs with high-quality products.

The ceremony was presided over by Mr. Cronin, Mr. Pavel Louda, mayor of Nový Bydžov, and Mr. Pavel Bradík, county chairman. The project is actively supported by Czechinvest, a government business development agency, and is expected to employ 100 people in the first development phase.

Alcan Packaging announced its initial ?17 million (approx. US$27 million) investment for construction of the new facility on 2 July 2008. Focused primarily on production and printing of high-quality rotogravure flexible packaging, the site is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Alcan Packaging Food Europe, a business unit of Alcan Packaging, is the European leader in flexible packaging for the food and beverages market. With 7,300 employees in 31 plants across 18 countries, it generated registered sales of US$2.3 billion in 2007.

Alcan Packaging is a global leader in value-added specialty packaging. It delivers multi-material innovative solutions to customers around the world for the food, pharmaceutical, beauty and tobacco markets. With 130 facilities and 30,000 employees in 31 countries, it generated US$6.2 billion revenues in 2007.

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.