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ALCOA IN CLOSURE JOINT VENTURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

 ALCOA IN CLOSURE JOINT VENTURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
 INDIANAPOLIS, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Alcoa (NYSE: AA) and Al


Zayani Investments WWL of Bahrain have agreed to form a joint venture to manufacture closures for beverage containers in the Middle East.
 To be known as Gulf Closures, the venture will manufacture compression-molded, tamper-evident plastic closures for the growing beverage market in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
 The agreement is expected to be completed in June. Construction of a new plant in Bahrain is expected to begin immediately, with production beginning in the first quarter of 1993. Initially the venture will have 45 employees, principally Bahrain nationals, and produce over 200 million closures in 1993. By 1997, the plant is expected to be producing more than 550 million closures annually.
 Alcoa Closure Systems International (ACSI), an Indianapolis-based unit of Alcoa, will own 49 percent of Gulf Closures.
 Announcing the venture, Timothy J. Leveque, president of ACSI, said, "The improving economic conditions in the Middle East and a climate that will support increased consumption of cold beverages were the important factors in the decision to form Gulf Closures.
 "Worldwide beverage companies are targeting the Middle East for market development. They are introducing to the region advanced packaging systems, including returnable plastic containers that use plastic closures. The convenience of such packaging is expected to spur significant increases in beverage consumption."
 Per capita consumption of soft drinks is 37 liters a year in Saudi Arabia, 23 liters in Egypt and 18 liters in Bahrain. By comparison, per capita soft drink consumption in the United States now surpasses 180 liters a year.
 Al Zayani Investments has interests in banking, services tendering, hotels, real estate and the light manufacturing of products, including aluminum cable, rod and automotive wheels.
 ACSI is the world's largest producer of plastic and aluminum closures and capping equipment for the world beverage industry. H-C Industries, Inc., a subsidiary in Crawfordsville, Ind., developed and patented the compression molding process for producing plastic closures of high, uniform quality.
 ACSI has 2,500 employees at 15 plants in the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico and Spain. In 1991, ACSI produced 22 billion of the estimated 67 billion closures produced worldwide.
 /delval/
 -0- 5/20/92
 /CONTACT: A.T. Posti of Alcoa, 412-553-4465/
 (AA) CO: Alcoa; Al Zayani Investments WWL; Gulf Closures ST: Pennsylvania, Indiana IN: MNG SU: JVN


CD -- PG004 -- 6213 05/20/92 11:51 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 20, 1992
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