News Release

Alcan Undertakes One of Australia's Biggest Industrial Projects Using Cisco Wide Area File Software

WAFS helps refinery expand at a rapid rate; Cisco IP telephony helps reduce costs
Sep 27, 2006

SYDNEY - Australia - September 27, 2006 - Alcan Gove is using Cisco Systems® Wide Area File Services (WAFS) software and Unified Communications to improve productivity and reduce operational costs at its $A2 billion Gove alumina refinery expansion.

Alcan Gove is part of Alcan Inc., a world leader in aluminum and packaging, with operations in 60 countries and around 65,000 employees. The refinery expansion on the Gove Peninsula in east Arnhem Land in remote northern Australia, known as G3, will increase Alcan Gove's alumina production capacity from 2.0 to 3.8 million tonnes per annum by 2007.

During the peak of the G3 expansion late last year, around 350 engineering staff were generating up to 16 gigabits of CAD files and three dimensional (3D) drawings each day, creating potential latency problems transporting data between Alcan sites. To help address the latency problem, Alcan worked with Cisco® to deploy Cisco WAFS software to overcome wide area network (WAN) latency and bandwidth limitations and offer users at Alcan branch offices a local area network (LAN)-like experience when accessing centralised files over the WAN. As a result, large files can be transported on the network 24 hours a day without any compromise to other essential communications.

Ian Budd, G3 network administrator, Alcan Gove G3 Project, said; "The Cisco WAFS solution makes it possible to get the drawings and models from the engineering design office in Brisbane to the construction and implementation sites in Gove and Asia overnight."

Since Alcan Gove operates an end-to-end Cisco network, the WAFS software seamlessly integrates into their existing network. As a result, Alcan maintains full access to branch network services such as firewall security policies, accounting, quality of service and visibility and monitoring, without any changes to clients or servers, since the integrity of traffic information is preserved.

Alcan Gove's Cisco network also supports Unified Communications, including Internet Protocol (IP) telephony and video conferencing. Around 1,500 Cisco IP handsets are in use at the Gove refinery plant, with 200 IP handsets deployed at the company's Brisbane, Thailand and Vietnam project offices. The Alcan Unified Communications solution is the latest in a growing army of customers in Australia and New Zealand gaining productivity and cost saving benefits from Cisco Unified Communications. According to Frost and Sullivan, Cisco extended its market share leadership in the Australian enterprise telephony market to 23 per cent in the first half of the 2006 calender year, up from 16.8 per cent in 2005. Cisco also led the market for IP telephony at 44 per cent. In July, Cisco shipped its 500,000th IP phone in Australia and New Zealand.

Allan Croker, network specialist, information and technology service, Alcan Gove, said; "The Unified Communications solution has helped Alcan reduce the cost of calls and also cut the costs of deploying, managing and maintaining our phone infrastructure, as well as providing a cost-effective way for plant supervisors to stay in touch across the 23-kilometre plant at Gove."

Cisco Australia and New Zealand managing director, Ross Fowler said: "Shifting large amounts of data around remote sites is a major issue for many companies in the resources and other sectors. Cisco's WAN optimisation technology in the form of WAFS has allowed one of the Northern Territory's largest investments to date to proceed at full steam and to use their Cisco network as the platform for cost reduction, real-time business across long distances and increased productivity."

To enable Alcan's Australian Headquarters staff in Brisbane to communicate as needed with their Gove counterparts, Alcan has deployed 40 Cisco VT Advantage cameras for desktop videoconferencing, two Tandberg video conference units for frequent team meetings and Cisco soft Phones for traveling users, which operate in conjunction with Cisco CallManager.

The deployment of Cisco CallManager and an Australia wide Cisco IP infrastructure backbone has also enabled the ability of inter-office calls via the WAN by connecting legacy private branch exchange systems to the Cisco IP backbone. When combined with the cost savings generated by long distance calls routing to the nearest Alcan office across the WAN, Alcan estimates it is saving about $A100,000 per year.

Cisco wireless networking is also being used to increase productivity on the tugboats Alcan uses to bring ships carrying raw materials into port. The tugboats feature Cisco wireless access points and Cisco IP handsets, creating a self-sufficient and fully contactable outpost on the tugboats.

About Alcan Gove

Alcan Gove is part of Alcan Inc., a multinational, market-driven company and a global leader in aluminum and packaging. Alcan's interests in Australia include the Gove alumina refinery, a 41.4 percent shareholding in Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL), a 51.5 percent shareholding in the Tomago aluminum smelter in New South Wales, bauxite reserves in the Northern Territory and North Queensland as well as a production facility in Adelaide, South Australia for Stelvin® wine screw caps. For further information, please visit