Community · 24 Apr 2021

Celebrating 50 Years of Operations at Tiwai Point

News Desk

News Desk

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NZAS will be brightening up the night sky for the next month as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, starting last night (Thursday April 22).

The smelter chimney (commonly known as the ‘stack’) is a prominent Southland landmark and will be illuminated to commemorate half a century of operations at Tiwai Point. The first aluminium was poured in April 1971, with the official opening of the plant held in November that year.

NZAS chief executive and general manager Stew Hamilton is looking forward to seeing the lights, “This is the first time we have ever lit up the stack and it is nice to be able to share this anniversary milestone with our people and Bluff residents. Celebrating 50 years as part of the Southland community is very special,” he said.

Bluff residents will get an excellent view of the stack, as will people driving to the smelter down Tiwai Road, with the south-west and north sides of the chimney being illuminated.

Photo: supplied

The lights were turned on at 7 pm last night and will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first shipment of alumina which arrived on site on the vessel Shinyo Maru on 22 April 1971. The first reduction cells went into operation on 23 April 1971, with the first metal cast seven days later on 30 April 1971.