New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited

Tiwai Point, Southland, New Zealand

New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited (NZAS) commenced operations in 1971 and is New Zealand’s only aluminium smelter.  The plant is located on Tiwai Peninsula, across the harbour from the community of Bluff in the province of Southland.

Each year NZAS contributes approximately NZ$525 million or 10.5% of Southland’s GDP and helps generate approximately 3,200 jobs.

In 2012, NZAS produced approximately 327,000 tonnes of aluminium in the form of ingot, billet and rolling block. 145,500 tonnes of high purity aluminium was achieved last year. The smelter produces the highest purity aluminium in the world (99.98% pure). High purity aluminium is required for critical applications in many sectors, including the electronics, IT, aerospace, and bright-finish sectors.

Aluminium from NZAS has a broad range of uses, from the wings of the Airbus A380, to window frames, ladders and alloy wheels. 40% of capacitors worldwide and 60% of memory discs worldwide are made of NZAS aluminium.

The smelter earns approximately NZ$1 billion in exports annually – more than all of our New Zealand's wool or wine industries.

Since 1990, the smelter has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by almost 42% and reduced our energy intensity by nearly 11%.

NZAS is the major sponsor of the Kakapo Recovery Program contributing approximately $4 million to date.  The smelter also has an active partnership with the Department of Conservation whereby NZAS employees volunteer on the kakapo inhabited islands to assist with maintenance, as well as carrying out supplementary feeding of kakapo and nest minding.


Operation data:


79.36% Pacific Aluminium (New Zealand)
20.64% Sumitomo Chemical Company

Number of employees

Approximately 800 employees and contractors



Ingot, billet and rolling block. The smelter produces some of the highest purity aluminium in the world (99.98% pure).

Primary markets

NZAS is a significant supplier of aluminium to Japan, although the smelter maintains a broad market base including other Asian countries, New Zealand, the United States and Europe.



NZAS website

NZAS 2013 Sustainable Development Review