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28 Apr 2005

Robert Melnbardis, Reuters

Alcan Faces Shareholder Ire Over Project Plans

Alcan's 45 percent owned Utkal Alumina International Ltd. project in...India's Orissa state...drew the most persistent commentary and questioning at the annual meeting. Members of "Alcan't in India," a Montreal-based advocacy group, demanded the company withdraw from the $1 billion Utkal project...The project has already been delayed by some seven years because of protests by social groups and about 147 families reluctant to make way for its development...Engen [Travis Engen, Alcan's President & CEO] acknowledged that a number of people have died in India in the dispute over the "very troubled" project. Utkal has to satisfy a number of environmental and financial conditions and address the question of community support before its development can proceed, he said.