Hydro Alunorte is the world's largest alumina refinery and it is located in Bacarena, close to Belém, State of Pará. In 1984, the first industry established in the area was a project with Japanese capital called Albras-Alunorte, which now belongs to Brazilian-headquartered private corporation Vale. According to Aguiar, Cardoso and Vecchione , "The project was part of the global process of relocating polluting and energy-intensive industries to the South. More specifically, it was part of Japan’s decision –in the context of the 1970s oil crisis– to outsource the production of aluminum needed to feed its post-War industrial boom. The Brazilian military regime embraced the opportunity to host aluminum processing in the Amazon, signing up to huge debts denominated in Japanese yen. It then took on the task of building the energy infrastructure needed for the industry to flourish. The Tucuruí megadam, built in the late 1970s in the Tocantins River, was inaugurated in 1984 and resulted in social and environmental disasters of great proportions. Since then, Tucuruí megadam has been providing energy to the aluminum industry at subsidized rates." The authors continue: "The process of turning Barcarena into an industrial center started during the time of the military dictatorship but continued unabated in the era of post-democratization government planning. It turned the area into an important vector of several trade corridors with hydroways and pipelines transporting kaolin and bauxite. In recent years, continued extractivism and little aggregate value processing of its produce has become part of the economic policy of ensuring continuous trade surplus through the export of commodities." 
Hydro Alunorte refinery started its operations in 1995, since then it supplies domestic markets but mostly international ones (as 86% of the production goes for export). The plant transforms a mineral abundant in the Amazon, bauxite, into alumina. The refinery’s owners are today Norsk Hydro, whose main shareholders are the Norwegian state (34,3%), the Norwegian Government Pension Fund (6,81%), and several transnational financial corporations. The factory Albras (Alumínio Brasileiro S.A.) transforms Alunorte’s alumina into aluminum and is owned by Norsk Hydro (51%) and the Japanese consortium NAAC (Nippon Amazon Aluminum Co. Ltd) (49%). Industries in the region also include, amongst others, steel plant Usipar and kaolin processing Imerys Rio Capim Caulim S.A. and PPSA (Pará Pigmentos S.A.).
Since the 2000´s irregularities were detected by public entities such as the Instituto Evandro Chagas (IEV) from the Ministry of Health. Scientific experts from the IEV detected water pollution in the community of Barcarena threatening the environmental and human health. Especially children which some of them were previously diagnosed with skin and visual problems related with water pollution according to the doctors. Workers of the company have also been affected.
By that time, IEV confirmed that water pollution was caused by leakage and toxic waste of Hydro Alunorte. The whole process of producing aluminum is in fact water-and energy-intensive and is highly air-polluting. One of the most important leakage was in 2009 when the company contaminated important rivers with lead and mercury. In that year, the company was fined with (R$ 17.000.000) but it never paid.
The company admitted it discharged untreated rain and surface water into a river, which it called “unacceptable,” but has denied significant parts of prosecutors’ allegations and has said there was no evidence of a lasting environmental impact.
Dwellers and local organisations with the support of Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB) have highly denounced this situation against Brazilians authorities. Violence against environmental defenders is visible, Paulo Sérgio Almeida Nascimento who was active in denouncing the company was shot dead in March 2018 he was the leader of the Associação dos Caboclos, indígenas e Quilombolas da Amazônia (CAINQUIAMA) an environmental justice organization who denounced the company several times. Based on death threats Paulo had asked for governmental protection but it was denied which resulted in his death.
In May 2018, a Brazilian federal judge upheld a state court decision forcing Norsk Hydro to cut output at a major alumina refinery, after the metals maker admitted to making unlicensed emissions of untreated water during severe rains in February. As a result, the company was ordered to slash output by half at the refinery  .