ALUMINUM: Alcoa in Alaska

"This," said Alaska's Governor Ernest Gruening last week, "is the most important event in Alaska's history since its purchase from Russia." The event: Aluminum Co. of America's announcement of plans for a giant aluminum smelter and two power plants near Skagway on the Canadian border. The cost, $400 million, would make the project the second biggest single investment ever made at one site by U.S. private industry.† It would eventually boost Alcoa's aluminum capacity 60% to 2.1 billion pounds annually, provide year-round employment for 4,000 and create a new Alaskan city of 20,000.

Alcoa's plan is to dam the Yukon...

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