New Zealand

Tiwai Aluminum Smelter Manager Focuses on ‘Continuous Operations’

New Zealand Aluminum Smelter Chief Executive Chris Blenkiron says Southland’s green hydrogen can co-exist with smelters.
Photo: attached

The chief executive of the Tiwai aluminum smelter said it is “fully focused” on continuing operations into the future, possibly as a large industrial user of green hydrogen.

New Zealand Aluminum Smelter Chief Executive Officer Chris Blenkiron said this afternoon that he had been in discussions with power producers about continuing to operate Tiwai beyond 2024 when the current power contract expires, Trans Tasman Business said. told the council.

“I hope our story continues in 2024 and beyond through our participation in the aluminum and energy sectors and our commitment to being responsible environmentalists,” he said.

“Continued operations at Tiwai can serve not only in efficiently using today’s electricity supply, but also in increasing NZ’s energy reserves by helping build new renewable energy. I have emphasized my role.”

He said Southland’s green hydrogen could coexist with smelters.

“We believe green hydrogen, when consumed next to where it is produced, will play a key role in decarbonizing a range of applications.”

He said Tiwai could be a base customer for a green hydrogen facility in Southland, with potentially large annual demand for green hydrogen in industrial processes.

“Operating by large industrial users like us makes it easier for these new industries to emerge and add value to New Zealand’s decarbonization plans.

Blenkiron also emphasized the economic contribution Tiwai has already made to the region and the wider economy.

“Combined with the future potential on the table at Tiwai and Rio (smelter owners) in New Zealand, for me it’s worth fighting for like an ally cat.”

Tiwai uses about 12% of the country’s electricity to produce aluminum, and it now gets that electricity at a discounted rate.

“But we’re also turning it into those jobs and GDP. We’re also using it to decarbonize the planet.”

He estimated that the smelter supported 1,000 to 2,500 jobs and produced 330 kilotonnes (kt) of aluminum annually, 90% of which was exported.

“And our aluminum is one of the least carbon-intensive in the world.”

Brenkiron said the smelter will clean up any residual contamination at the site whether or not it continues to produce after 2024.

“We are listening, we are learning, we are rebuilding trust, and we are repairing the shabby social license I spoke of.” Tiwai Aluminum Smelter Manager Focuses on ‘Continuous Operations’

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