Gladstone

From the General Managers

Welcome to the website for Rio Tinto Aluminium's operations located in and near Gladstone. We share a long history with the local community, and have operated in the Gladstone region for more than 40 years.

Today, Rio Tinto Aluminium has interests in four operations within the Gladstone region - Boyne Smelters Limited, the Yarwun refinery, the Queensland Alumina Limited refinery and the Gladstone Power Station. Both the Boyne Smelters Limited operation and the Yarwun refinery are managed by Rio Tinto Aluminium.

At all Rio Tinto Aluminium operations we focus on developing a sustainable operation by ensuring the health and safety of employees, minimising impact on the environment and communicating with all interested community members. We are committed to being open and honest about our business and this website is one of the many tools we use to provide public information.

We welcome visitors and as part of a local industry tourism programme we host public tours to Boyne Smelters Limited and the Yarwun alumina refinery. The tours can be arranged through the Gladstone Area Promotional Development Ltd's visitor information office by phoning +61 7 4972 4000.

We hope you find this site informative. If you require any additional information or have any comments regarding our site, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Doug Grimmond                                                                               Brian Cooper
General Manager Operations                                                              General Manager Operations
Yarwun alumina refinery                                                               Boyne Smelters Limited

Operation overview - Yarwun alumina refinery

Rio Tinto Aluminium Yarwun (formerly known as Comalco Alumina Refinery or CAR) was officially opened in March 2005, following a three-year construction phase. The refinery has an annual production capacity of 1.4 million tonnes of smelter grade alumina. The operation is 100 per cent owned by Rio Tinto Aluminium. The design of the refinery allows for further expansion which could see production increase to more than four million tonnes per annum. The first shipments from the refinery were made in November 2004. Refining is the second stage of the aluminium production process.

Operation overview - Queensland Alumina Limited

Queensland Alumina Limited is one of the largest alumina refineries in the world. It is owned by a consortium of three international companies and each has an equity share interest in the operation. Rio Tinto Aluminium holds a 38.6 per cent interest in the refinery. Joint venture partners include Alcan (41.4 per cent) and Rusal (20 per cent). QAL is overseen by an independent management team reporting to a board on which all the owners are represented. Alumina production commenced at the site in March 1967, using bauxite located at Weipa. QAL sources its power from the grid.

Operation overview - Boyne Smelters Limited

Boyne Smelters Limited (BSL) is Australia's largest aluminium smelter. The smelter produces more than half a million tones of aluminium each year from its three reduction lines. Production activities at the smelter include manufacturing of carbon anodes, aluminium production (smelting) in reduction lines, and casting of molten metal into aluminium products. Aluminium production is supported by numerous other functional areas such as power supply, maintenance, environment, process improvement, procurement, human resources, community relations and shipping and transport.

Bauxite is mined at Rio Tinto Aluminium Weipa in Cape York and shipped to Queensland Alumina Limited for refining in Gladstone. Alumina is transported by conveyor to BSL for the third stage of the aluminium production process called smelting.

Overview - Gladstone Power Station

Gladstone Power Station (GPS) is Queensland's largest coal fired power station with a capacity of 1,680 megawatts. It was acquired from the Queensland Electricity Commission in 1994 by a joint venture comprising Rio Tinto Aluminium (42.125 per cent), three of its Japanese partners in Boyne Smelters Limited (SLMA GPS 8.5 per cent; YKK GPS (Queensland) 4.75 per cent and Mitsubishi 7.125 per cent) and NRG, a US based energy provider (37.5 per cent). NRG Gladstone Operating Services manages the operation of the power station on behalf of the participants. The station provides power to BSL, which has an entitlement to 50 per cent of the station's capacity. GPS commenced operation in 1976. The station has six generating units.

Location

The Gladstone region of Queensland (encompassing the city of Gladstone and nearby communities of Boyne Island, Tannum Sands, Yarwun, Targinnie and Calliope) is located approximately 550 kilometres north of Brisbane. Gladstone is the location of one of Queensland's major ports, and is the site of existing industry including alumina refining and aluminium smelting, power generation, and various other manufacturing facilities. The Gladstone and Calliope Shires together have an estimated population of around 35,000 people. The Gladstone region has an average minimum temperature of about 18.4 and an average maximum of about 27.5 degrees.

Rio Tinto Aluminium has been involved in the Gladstone region community since 1963, when construction began on Queensland Alumina Limited, the world's largest alumina refinery. Proximity to a power supply (the Gladstone Power Station) and to the Queensland Alumina Limited refinery, prompted Rio Tinto Aluminium to select Boyne Island (20 kilometres south of Gladstone) as the location for its new smelting operation and in 1982 operations began at Boyne Smelters Limited. Existing infrastructure and a supportive community convinced Rio Tinto Aluminium again to choose the Gladstone region as the location for its new refinery project in 2001. The Rio Tinto Aluminium Yarwun refinery was commissioned in late 2004 at its site near Yarwun. Rio Tinto Aluminium purchased a share in the Gladstone Power Station when it was privatised in 1994.