Bell Bay aluminium smelter

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The Bell Bay aluminium smelter is located on the Tamar River at Bell Bay, Tasmania, Australia. The smelter has a production capacity of 178,000 tonnes of aluminium per year. [1] It is owned and operated by Pacific Aluminium, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto Alcan.


The Bell Bay smelter commenced production in 1955 as a joint venture between the Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments. The smelter was the first built in the Southern Hemisphere primarily to overcome difficulties importing aluminium during wartime. Bell Bay was chosen as the location because of the available hydroelectric power and deep water facilities. Rio Tinto Aluminium purchased the smelter in 1960, when production was about 12,000 tonnes per year. [2] The original potline (Line 1) used British Aluminium Söderberg technology. It was converted to use prebake anodes in 1965 and shut down in 1981.


The smelter currently comprises three potlines of Kaiser P-57 reduction cells [3][4]

Line 2 and Line 3 were built in the early 1960s. Line 4 was built in two stages in the early 1980s.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rio Tinto 2006 Data Book" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  2. ^ Peterson, Warren S. (1986). Hall-Heroult Centennial. The Metallurgical Society. ISBN 0-87339-540-9. , p22
  3. ^ "Alton Tabereaux - 'Prebake Cell Technology: A Global Review', JOM, 52 (2), pp 22-28.". Archived from the original on 14 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  4. ^ Bearne, Geoff (2009), Current increase, power efficiency improvement and PFC reduction at RTA Bell Bay Smelter (PDF), TMS 2009, retrieved 2011-08-15 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°07′26″S 146°52′08″E / 41.12389°S 146.86889°E / -41.12389; 146.86889