Pechiney SA is in the process of buying the equipment at the McCook Metals LLC mill located in McCook, Illinois and has announced its plans to shut down operations and transfer equipment to its plants in West Virginia and France once the deal is done. The acquirement of the McCook assets by Pechiney is one of a series of acquisitions and expansions that Pechiney has executed in recent years and the company has plans for more. The company announced early this year its intention to spend in excess of $500 million on acquisitions and expansions over the next three years. World-wide, Pechiney is planning expansion in all corners of the globe. In 1998, the company began studies for an alumina refinery in Baleshwar, India. Most recently an aluminum refinery is being studied in China. The company is planning to construct a new âworld classâ? aluminum smelter in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The smelter will use Pechiney’s latest AP50 technology and produce around 460,000 metric tons per year of primary aluminum. The company has also been studying smelter additions or expansions in Australia, South America, and the Netherlands. The company just announced plans to expand its joint venture Tomago smelter in Australia. The South American project was to be located in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela. The two-phase $750 million project would ultimately produce 500,000 tons of aluminum annually. Late this year, the company should begin construction of a $100 million expansion of its Vlissingen, Netherlands aluminum smelter.