Mozambique’s Mozal aims to increase aluminum production by 250,000 tons

30 November 2005

Johannesburg, South Africa, 30 Nov – The third phase of the Mozambican aluminum factory, Mozal will increase production capacity to some 800,000 tons per year, from a current 551,000 tons, the chairman of parent company BHP Billiton Aluminium, Alex Vanselow, said Tuesday in Johannesburg.

Vanselow refused to comment on the investment made in the production increase, “there is still a lot of work to do.”

Mozal is located in Boane, on the outskirts of the Mozambique capital of Maputo and was opened by the Presidents of Mozambique and South Africa in September 2000.

“BHP Billiton has completed an economic viability study and is now negotiating with Eskom (South African electricity distribution company) and the Mozambique government for electricity supply,” said Vanselow, explaining that the third phase of expansion is dependent on the availability of electricity.

BHP Billiton, which according to the company is the world’s largest mining group, is headquartered in Australia and in 2004 had sales totaling US$9.6 billion.

In the last financial year 12% of the group’s sales of iron ore and coal were to China.

Mozal consumes four times the amount of electricity used by the whole of Mozambique – excluding the company – and requires 520 MW of electricity to increase production.

The first two phases of Mozal required a total investment of around US$2 billion.

BHP Billiton Aluminium is Mozal’s main shareholder and owns the sale rights on 75% of its production. The aluminum ingots produced by Mozal are exported to Europe. (macauhub)