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Alcoa Inc. (AA - Analyst Report) announced that its Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products casthouse expansion at Barberton, Ohio, facility is expected to cut down half of the total amount of energy that is used to recycle aluminum for forged wheels. This is expected to reduce greenhouse gases and increase the overall efficiency and sustainability of the company’s manufacturing process.

Alcoa’s 50,000-square-foot casthouse, the first of its kind in North America, utilizes advanced technology to produce wheels from re-melted and scrap aluminum. The facility recycles about 100 million pounds of scrap aluminum each year and its recycling practices are very energy efficient. The casthouse also creates ‘green’ technology and is expected to considerably reduce energy use through a combination of process improvements and reduced transportation needs.

Alcoa’s facility is built on an existing production facility leading to significant curtailment of transportation needs. As a result of this, energy consumption related to transportation has been slashed by 90%.

Alcoa’s aluminum wheels are beneficial to the environment and the consumer as they reduce overall weight of the vehicle, which significantly improves fuel efficiency and mitigates greenhouse gas emissions.

One-hundred million pounds of recycled scrap aluminum is considered sufficient to produce two million new Alcoa forged aluminum wheels. The casthouse takes chips and solids from an existing Alcoa wheel machining plant in Barberton and its Cleveland forging plant, and recycles them to finally forge them into aluminum wheels.

The project is also a part of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, through which, Alcoa aims to share best practices. Better Buildings Challenge is a program that helps the companies spot new energy efficient solutions for their buildings and plants.

Alcoa, which is among the prominent players in the mining industry along with Aluminum Corporation of China Limited ( ) and BHP Billiton Limited (BHP - Analyst Report) , is a world leader with respect to production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina.

Alcoa currently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Another company in the mining industry with favorable Zacks Rank is Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (AGPPY), having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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