Green light for smelter expansion consultation

Lochaber smelter and hydro-electric plant.

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ALVANCE Aluminium will begin consulting on plans for a new £94million recycling and aluminium billet plant at its Lochaber smelter next week as it develops Fort William’s position as a leading international producer of low-carbon aluminium.

A public consultation will be held online for 21 days from February 22, including a live
consultation event on Thursday February 25 from 3.30 pm-7pm, where members of the project team will be available to respond to questions.

Part of sustainable industry leader GFG Alliance, ALVANCE announced plans in November for a new recycling and casting facility that will double green aluminium production from more than 40,000 tonne per annum (ktpa) to over 80ktpa. The plant will produce long, round bars called billets for the domestic construction, building and transport sectors, supplanting some of the current dependency on imports.

ALVANCE expects to award contracts to local suppliers, including new building works for the facility.

The billet, which is destined for both UK and European markets, will be produced from Lochaber’s already low-carbon aluminium and recycled material, giving it some of the greenest credentials on the market.

Once approved, the new integrated business plan and associated developments will secure the long-term future of the Fort William aluminium smelter, safeguarding 200 local jobs and creating 70 new high quality roles. Subject to approvals and any further impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, ALVANCE aims to commence the new development works in 2021 and target full operation by 2024.

Brian King, President of ALVANCE British Aluminium said: ‘We are pleased to bring our plans for a new billet plant in front of local residents and businesses and welcome views from across the community.

‘Because of the current Covid-19 restrictions, we have to conduct the consultation virtually but we’ll do everything possible to make it as interactive as we can and I’d encourage all our local communities to join in and hear about our plans.

‘We are confident that local people will get behind these proposals to reinforce Fort William’s position at the centre of green industrial production in the Highlands, securing and generating new jobs, and providing a pipeline of opportunities to the wider supply chain in Scotland.’

Further information may be obtained from Leah Watton of planning agents JLL at and on 0141 567 6620/ 07711 772152 or from the ALVANCE group website.