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Pechiney in Australia: A History of Tomago Smelter (1978-1985)

Abstract :   The Australian adventure began in the 1960s for Pechiney, attracted by a territory promised to become the Eldorado of bauxite. Aware of this wealth, Australia wants to value it and develop a local industry around the ore. Thus, in 1963, Pechiney took part in the large Gladstone alumina plant, operated as a cooperative by Queensland Alumina Ltd (QAL). Over the next decade, closer integration of the industry will affect primary aluminum production. In 1978, the Australian government proposed to Pechiney to create a joint venture to build an electrolysis plant on the Tomago site. The operation seduced the French producer for three reasons: the guaranteed supply of alumina, the proximity of the Asian markets and the possibility of selling its technology electrolysis tanks which he became a world leader thanks to his Savoyard laboratory, the LRF. After a period of study and negotiations sometimes tense around the price of electricity, the plant goes into operation in September 1983. Main partner with the Australian firm Colonial Sugar Refining, Pechiney brings its expertise to the new plant and leads the operations, particularly through its expatriate staff who help start up the plant and train the local workforce.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 10:49:35 AM
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  • HAL Id : hal-01991926, version 1



Philippe Mioche. Pechiney in Australia: A History of Tomago Smelter (1978-1985). Cahiers d’histoire de l’aluminium, 2018, pp.32-65. ⟨hal-01991926⟩



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