Rio Tinto Alcan founding partner of the new Centre of Excellence in Energy
Efficiency in Shawinigan

MONTREAL, Dec. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Rio Tinto Alcan is proud to have participated in the official launch of the new Centre of Excellence in Energy Efficiency in Shawinigan, in Mauricie, which took place earlier today at the Cité de l'Énergie. As a founding partner, Rio Tinto Alcan will contribute $1.4 million to the project over the next five years.

"The Centre of Excellence in Energy Efficiency is great news for Shawinigan. With its strong base in the Mauricie region and a network of major partners across Canada, this project should generate spin-offs throughout Quebec, Canada, and even internationally," said Jean Simon, president, Primary Metal - North America, Rio Tinto Alcan. "This partnership fits very well with our commitment to energy efficiency, and we are thrilled to be a part of creating this unique, innovative centre. This project will help make Shawinigan a true hub of specialised development in the areas of energy efficiency and new energy technologies - both strategic sectors for tomorrow's economy which could have an effect throughout the planet."

The Centre of Excellence in Energy Efficiency began as an initiative of the Rio Tinto Alcan Regional Industrial Development Office, and brings together key players from industry, financial institutions, and the knowledge community as well as local economic stakeholders and government agencies and representatives. The long-term success of a structured economic development initiative such as the Centre of Excellence in Energy Efficiency depends on dynamic, sustained interaction between all of these groups of key players.

"Regions that are proactive in implementing an innovation strategy in the energy and energy efficiency sector can be leaders in the new economy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and be on the cutting-edge in creating economic value. Rio Tinto Alcan is pleased to have initiated this project, especially given that it is located in Shawinigan," said Guy Authier, Chair for the Centre of Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Vice president, Primary Metal - Quebec South, United States, and Quebec joint ventures, Rio Tinto Alcan.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.

SOURCE Rio Tinto Alcan

For further information: For further information: Rio Tinto Alcan, Media Relations, Canada: Stefano Bertolli, (514) 848-8151, stefano.bertolli@riotinto.com; Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations, Quebec: Claudine Gagnon, (418) 699-4005, claudine.gagnon@riotinto.com; www.riotintoalcan.com

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