BHP Billiton Hillside aluminium smelter produces first metal
Posted: 13 October 2003
BHP Billiton announced first aluminium was cast at the expansion
project at the wholly owned Hillside aluminium smelter at Richards
Bay on Friday 3 October 2003.
First metal production has been achieved 18 months after project
commencement in April 2003. This expansion, by 132 000 tons per
annum, will raise Hillside’s production to 670 000 tons per
annum, making it the largest smelter in the southern hemisphere
and the western world.
Completion cost is expected to be below the budget of US$449 million.
Some 1 200 people received training in various construction skills
during the project.
About US$80 million has been spent directly in the Kwa-Zulu Natal
region, with a further spend of US$7 million per annum expected
from the expansion’s continuing operations.
To date 22 contracts valued in total at US$20 million have been
awarded to BEE procurement and service providers.
The project has achieved a remarkable safety performance. On six
occasions it reached one million man-hours without any lost time
injuries and for the third time has just completed one million man-
hours without a classified injury.
Mike Salamon, Executive Director and President of Aluminium at
BHP Billiton, said: “We are justifiably proud of the Hillside
project team for achieving a world record of producing first metal
in just 18 months from project commencement. We wish them a safe
and successful ramp up to full production, which is expected will
be reached early in the first quarter of 2004. This expansion is
also remarkable, for it will provide Hillside smelter with the facilities
to produce rim alloy and t-bar, in addition to its current primary
For more information see http://www.bhpbilliton.com.
Posted by Richard Price,
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