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On 16th November, GFG Executive Chairman, Sanjeev Gupta and GFG’s Chief Investment Officer and President of ALVANCE Aluminium, Jay Hambro were at the Lochaber aluminium smelter in Fort William in the west Highlands of Scotland.
They were there to announce a £94m investment package to secure Fort William’s future as a GREENALUMINIUM hub.
ALVANCE will invest in a new recycling and casting facility that will take aluminium production at the Fort William plant from just over 40,000 tonne per annum (ktpa) to 80ktpa. The new facility will produce 80ktpa of long, round shapes (“billets”) for the domestic construction sector which currently relies heavily on imports. To support the developments ALVANCE is also proposing significant upgrades to the nearby port of Corpach to improve efficiency of material flow.
Picture shows aluminium billets
With current smelting processes already powered by GFG Alliance’s zero emission hydro-electric power, the new addition of aluminium recycling and expansion into downstream billets will allow ALVANCE to manufacture some of the most sustainably produced billets in the world, giving it a competitive advantage as the demand for green aluminium grows.
Proposals will be submitted to the Highlands Council for approval and formally replace the previously announced plan for an alloy wheels factory due to a significant decline in the UK automotive sector.
Once approved, the new integrated business plan and associated developments will secure the long-term future of the Fort William aluminium smelter, safeguarding 200 local jobs and creating 70 new high-quality roles. Subject to approvals and any further impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, ALVANCE aims to commence the new development works in 2021 and target full operation by 2024.
GFG Alliance is also tabling plans for a new water canning facility, located next to the Fort William plant, to package water from the Highlands into reusable aluminium cans. The aim is to provide an alternative to plastic bottles, with the cans to be sold to the UK and international markets.
Sanjeev said: “The transformation plan we’re announcing today underlines our commitment to investing in Scotland and our belief in the bright future of GREENALUMINIUM. Recycling aluminium saves 95% of the energy needed to produce primary aluminium and is a key part of GFG’s CN30 mission to be carbon neutral by 2030. By utilising domestic scrap aluminium that is currently exported, we will nearly double production here at Fort William. These investments will make us more competitive and will deliver a higher value product in the form of billet for construction to domestic and export markets. The new facilities, alongside the Lochaber hydro plant, will create market-leading GREENALUMINIUM products that deliver for the environment as well as the economy.”
You can read the full press release here.
© Sandy young Photography 07970 268944
Inside the UK’s only remaining aluminium smelter, ALVANCE British Aluminium in Lochaber, Scotland. The plant, which is at the foot of Ben Nevis, is fuelled sustainably by a hydro-electric power station.
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