oa Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Construction and erection of South Africa's first aluminium smelter

Volume 15, Issue 11
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



As a result of feasibility studies carried out by the Industrial Development Corporation and several international aluminium producers it was decided in 1967 to establish an aluminium smelter in the Republic, thus leading to the birth of Alusaf (Pty) Limited. The smelter was to have an initial rated capacity of 50 000 t of primary aluminium per annum. During the entire construction and erection period the shortage of materials skilled labourers, artisans and transport facilities was a national problem. In spite of the many adverse factors the planned start up date of the reduction plant could be met and the first aluminium was produced at Richards Bay at the beginning of May 1971 which was only four years after it was decided to establish an aluminium smelter in South Africa. The total capital required to bring this plant into operation was almost R60 million.

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