Smelter to lead the way on ‘green’ me­tal strat­egy, claim own­ers

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

THE SMELTER in Fort Wil­liam is to be­come the flag­ship of ‘ green me­tal strat­egy’ ac­cord­ing to new own­ers.

Since ac­quir­ing the alu­minium smelter for­merly owned by Rio Tinto along with the neigh­bour­ing Kin­lochleven hy­dro plant in De­cem­ber 2016, GFG Al­liance com­pany SIMEC has al­ready in­vested £10 mil­lion to in­stall 18MW of bio- diesel gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity to re­duce the reliance of the smelter on im­ported power from the na­tional grid.

Last week, plans to fur­ther in­vest tens of millions of pounds to boost the out­put of ex­ist­ing hy­dro- elec­tric plants and in­tro­duc­ing new hy­dro gen­er­a­tors, as well as ex­tend­ing the use of bio diesel and ex­plor­ing other re­new­able en­ergy sources such as wind, biomass and waste-to- en­ergy, were re­vealed by SIMEC and Lib­erty (also of GFG Al­liance) to MSP Paul Wheel­house.

GFG Al­liance ex­ec­u­tive chair­man San­jeev Gupta, who hosted Mr Wheel­house’s visit, said: ‘ We see the High­lands as the flag­ship of our GREENS- ME­TAL strat­egy. There is huge po­ten­tial here to op­ti­mise the use of nat­u­ral re­sources and other lo­cally avail­able ma­te­ri­als to pro­duce the re­new­able power that will un­der­pin many hun­dreds of new in­dus­trial jobs in the area.’

Dur­ing the visit, the com­pa­nies ex­plained a plan to make the site even more self-suf­fi­cient by car­ry­ing out ma­jor engi­neer­ing works to im­prove wa­ter flow through the 24 kilo­me­tre-long Treig Tun­nel which will in turn sub­stan­tially boost the ca­pac­ity of the Lochaber hy­dro sta­tion. Mr Wheel­house, min­is­ter for busi­ness, in­no­va­tion and en­ergy, learned the al­liance’s follow-up plans in­clude the cre­ation of a net­work of smaller-scale hy­dro plants to max­imise the eco­nomic ben­e­fit to the lo­cal econ­omy of the area’s nat­u­ral wa­ter re­source. This may in­clude op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­mu­nity own­er­ship of lo­cal gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity.

Fol­low­ing the visit the Min­is­ter said: ‘I am pleased to be here to­day to see first-hand how SIMEC is us­ing its ex­ist­ing hy­dro- elec­tric schemes and to learn how its sis­ter com­pany Lib­erty House plans to har­ness green en­ergy to boost man­u­fac­tur­ing in the High­lands.

‘As well as its ex­cit­ing plans to de­velop its ex­ist­ing and new hy­dro schemes, biomass, waste-to- en­ergy and other forms of re­new­able en­ergy all fea­ture in the com­pany’s vision for fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the site. This is a great ex­am­ple of how green re­new­able power can sup­port in­no­va­tion in in­dus­try as well as help­ing us to meet our re­new­ables tar­gets and cli­mate change obli­ga­tions’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.