New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited

Operation overview

New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited (NZAS) commenced operations in 1971 and is New Zealand's only aluminium smelter.

The plant is located on Tiwai Peninsula, across the harbour from the community of Bluff in the province of Southland.

Each year NZAS contributes approximately NZ$525 million or 10.5% of Southland's GDP and helps generate approximately 3,200 jobs.

In 2012, NZAS produced approximately 327,000 tonnes of aluminium in the form of ingot, billet and rolling block. 145,500 tonnes of high purity aluminium was achieved last year. The smelter produces the highest purity aluminium in the world (99.98% pure). High purity aluminium is required for critical applications in many sectors, including the electronics, IT, aerospace, and bright-finish sectors.

Aluminium from NZAS has a broad range of uses, from the wings of the Airbus A380, to window frames, ladders and alloy wheels. 40% of capacitors worldwide and 60% of memory discs worldwide are made of NZAS aluminium.

The smelter earns approximately NZ$1 billion in exports annually - more than all of New Zealand's wool or wine industries.

Since 1990, the smelter has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by almost 42% and reduced its energy intensity by nearly 11%.

Operation data

Ownership: 79.36% Rio Tinto Aluminium New Zealand, 20.64% Sumitomo Chemical Company

Number of employees: Approximately 800 employees and contractors

Products: Ingot, billet and rolling block. The smelter produces some of the highest purity aluminium in the world (99.98% pure).

Primary markets: NZAS is a significant supplier of aluminium to Japan, although the smelter maintains a broad market base including other Asian countries, New Zealand, the United States and Europe.

Contact details

New Zealand Aluminium
Smelters Limited
Tiwai Road
New Zealand
T +64 3 218 5999