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SCDI Highlands & Islands Business Excellence Awards: Alvance Aluminium


ALVANCE British Aluminium, part of the GFG Alliance, owns and operates the last remaining aluminium production plant (smelter) in the UK and a connected hydropower electricity generation station. Alongside these operations is a diverse, multi-enterprise rural estate business with all of the activities benefiting from being situated in the stunning surroundings of The Outdoor Capital of the UK, Lochaber.

Lochaber smelter has a production capacity of 48,000 tonnes per annum which is equivalent to producing some three billion aluminium soft-drink cans every year. Products from the smelter are sold in the UK and across Europe and will be further processed in the value chain for use across a range of industries and applications such as transport, construction, engineering and packaging.

With energy supplied from the hydropower station, the  operations are already one of the UK’s lowest carbon emitting metal production plants.

A development project to construct a new 100,000 tonnes per annum aluminium, billet and recycling plant, next to the smelter, was given planning permission last year. This will further boost the low carbon aluminium credentials of the operations and support the ambition of GFG Alliance to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Surrounding the smelter site is JAHAMA Highland Estates (JHE) which consists of 115,000 acres of mountainous and moorland terrain located across much of Lochaber and Badenoch. This stretch of lochs, gates and dams are what feed the hydropower station and support the industrial activities. JHE is managed on the principles of sustainable development of local communities, the environment and the local economy through a variety of conservation and land management initiatives.

The businesses currently employ some 200 people with a range of expertise, knowledge and skills covering disciplines like civil engineering, health & safety management, smelter operations, accounting, power maintenance, and an array of roles typical to rural estate management and activities. Additional industrial jobs will be created in the new recycling and billet plant with a large number of indirect jobs supported during the construction phase and then in supply chains throughout the lifetime of the plant.

The business focusses on growing sustainable local jobs with opportunities to upskill, while working with the wider community to make Lochaber a better place to both live and work.

If you are interested in knowing more about our diverse business, please contact colleen.maclean@alvancegroup.com