Mozal 2 aluminium smelter comes on stream

Oct 7, 2003
Author: P&S

Mozal 2, the second phase of BHP Billitonís aluminium smelter outside Maputo in Mozambique, comes officially on stream today when it is officially opened, half a year earlier than expected and considerably under budget. The expanded smelter has been producing aluminium for the past 5 months.

The introduction of Mozal 2, which is operated by BHP Billiton, has doubled Mozalís production capacity from 253,000 tonnes annually to 506,000t and turned Mozambique and southern Africa into a significant international producer and exporter, largely thanks to the supply of cheap electricity.

The consortium behind Mozal consists of BHP Billiton (47 %), Japanís Mitsubishi Corporation (25 %), South Africaís Industrial Development Corporation (24 %) and the Mozambique Government (4 %).

The southern African region currently has smelters at Hillside and Bayside in Richards Bay, where Hillside 3 should come on stream within three months, increasing BHP Billitonís output at Richards Bay by 25 % to 664,000 tonnes.

An added development is the proposed Alcan/Pechiney smelter at Coega in South Africaís East Cape Province near the new port of Ngqura.

The success of the Richards Bay smelters can be said to have paved the way for the Mozal project, which has already become an important employer in the Maputo region as well as having helped rekindle the supply of electric power from the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric power plant.

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