18 May 2016

Bell Bay Aluminium to ramp back up to full production

As Tasmania’s largest consumer of electricity, the smelter agreed to reduce power consumption by around 10% (between 30-40 megawatts) in February due to the combination of the extended outage of the Basslink cable, the lowest Spring rainfall on record and historically low dam storage levels.

Significant recent rainfall has provided sufficient supply to trigger BBA’s return to full production.

BBA General Manager Ray Mostogl said: “The rainfall has been what we’ve all been hoping for. We’re delighted to be ramping up about a month earlier than we first planned.”

“The process of returning to full production will take us around five weeks as we bring our plant safely back online and back up to target production."

“We will continue to maintain close contact with Hydro Tasmania as we ramp up, as has been the case since the cable faulted in December last year,” he said.

Background information:

  • BBA is located on the Tamar River near George Town in Northern Tasmania.
  • BBA holds a unique place in Tasmanian and Australian history, becoming the first aluminium smelter in the southern hemisphere when it began production on 23 September, 1955.
  • BBA makes a significant economic and social contribution to Tasmania’s economy. Independent studies have found that BBA directly and indirectly, employs approximately 1500 Tasmanians and contributes $690M annually to Tasmania’s Gross State Product
  • Annual production in 2015: 190,000 tonnes
  • In 2015 BBA spent $160M with 323 local suppliers
  • In 2015 BBA paid $47M in salaries to our employees