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American based aluminium producer, AWAC, is the owner of the Point Henry aluminium smelter at Moolap, near Geelong in Victoria, through its Australian subsidiary Alcoa. The Point Henry smelter began production in 1963 and was one of the first facilities in Australia to produce aluminium for both the international and domestic markets. It produces up to 190,000 tonnes of aluminium a year and was considered to be one of the most efficient aluminium smelters in the world.

The Point Henry Smelter is one of Alcoa's Oldest

Despite all this, the Point Henry smelter is also one of Alcoa's oldest smelters and was earmarked for closure in 2012 until the federal and state governments stepped in with funding to keep the plant operating until 2014. Alcoa will consider the future of the 50 year old plant when a current review is completed, although it reaffirms there is no plan to close the plant at the present time.

Up to Half of the Aluminium Produced at the Point Henry Smelter is Purchased by Kaal Australia
Up to 50 percent of the aluminium produced at the Point Henry smelter is sold to Kaal Australia's rolling mill nearby, the balance is sold to the company's global customers. Most of the electricity used to power the Point Henry smelter is supplied by the company's own coal fired power station at nearby Anglesea, the balance of power required to operate the plant is supplied by the State under a 30 year electricity supply agreement that was also due to expire in 2014 but was extended in 2010 to now run out in 2036.

Alcoa is Global Manager of AWAC's Operations
ASX listed company Alumina has a 40 percent interest in AWAC (Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals) making it the world's largest alumina producer. Alcoa owns 60 percent of AWAC and is the manager of its world wide operations.

Point Henry Smelter Established in 1965
The Point Henry smelter has been supplying aluminium for sheeting since 1965 and is currently supplying sufficient aluminium to produce up to 90,000 million tonnes of rolled aluminium a year with 65 percent supplying the Asian market. The Point Henry operations employ around 900 people who mostly reside in the Geelong region.

Point Henry's Smelter Production Cycle
The aluminium produced at the Point Henry smelter is produced from a white powder, alumina, that is refined from bauxite at Alcoa's Kwinana bauxite refinery in Western Australia. It takes about two tonnes of alumina to make one tonne of aluminium. Alumina smelting at Point Henry separates the oxygen and produces aluminium metal. It takes from 30 to 35 days to convert alumina to aluminium ingots from when the powder arrives at the smelter for further processing, although most of this time is used for alumina inventory. The aluminium ingots are rolled into sheets to be used in the manufacturing of beverage cans, food cans and screw tops for bottles.

The money invested by the Australian and Victorian governments to keep the Point Henry smelter operational to at least June 2014 was necessary because of the downturns in world prices and the high Australian dollar at that time. Most of the problem was the company's downturn on a global basis, not that of the Point Henry smelter's operational inefficiencies.

Update- Production at Alcoa’s Point Henry smelter ended on 31st July 2014, when a large group of employees gathered to watch the last potline being switched off. Molten aluminium was then syphoned from the pots for the last time.
The smelter will permanently close, after 51 years of operation, and the rolling mill by the end of the year, being the end of an era for around 500 employees.

During its 51 years of operation, the Point Henry Smelter has produced more than 7.3 million tonnes of aluminium – enough to make more than 490 billion cans or 93,000 jumbo jets.


Alcoas Australian current operations include bauxite mining in WA alumina refineries, aluminium recycling plant in NSW and aluminium smelting in VIC. Alcoa produces almost 45% of Australia's alumina and over 25% of Australia's aluminium.Alcoa is one of Australia's largest exporters contributing...........read more


Cnr Davey Marmion Streets
Booragoon, WA 6954

PO Box 252
Applecross, WA 6953


Phone08 9316 5111
fax08 9316 5228

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