Compiled by Tonya Vinas Alcan Inc., the US$12.6 billion aluminum and specialty packaging manufacturer, is attempting to form a joint venture with Qingtongxia Aluminum Co., a leading aluminum company in China. The joint venture would give Montreal-based Alcan 50% ownership in a 130-kiloton aluminum smelter located in the Ningxia Autonomous Region, China. Additionally, Alcan would have an option to secure a 50% interest in a planned 150-kiloton expansion of this smelter. "This initiative offers substantial opportunities for Alcan to increase shareholder value by participating in the fastest growing aluminum market in the world," says Cynthia Carroll, president of Alcan Primary Metal Group. Alcan employs 48,000 people and has operating facilities in 38 countries.