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Highland councillors approve Lochaber aluminium recycling plant



Highland Council has approved plans for an aluminium recycling plant next to the Lochaber Smelter near Fort William.

Alvance Aluminium will use the recycled materials, along with metal from the smelter, in a new casting factory.

Each year it aims to produce up to 100,000 tonnes of billets, which are used in the construction industry.

The recycling and casting plants are proposed on a site which was previously planned to become an alloy wheel factory.

Those plans were scrapped last year after GFG Alliance, owner of the Lochaber Smelter, said there had been a “significant decline” in car manufacturing.

Last year, Alvance pledged a £94m investment in the new facility, almost doubling production at its existing Fort William plant.

To support the developments, Alvance is also proposing significant upgrades to the nearby port of Corpach, in order to improve efficiency of material flow.

The company promised the new developments would secure the long-term future of the Fort William aluminium smelter, safeguarding 200 local jobs and creating around 70 new roles.

Alvance was previously targetting full operation by 2024.

Brian King, president at Alvance, said: “We welcome the Highland Council’s decision on our plans to expand Lochaber’s existing low-carbon operations.

“I would like to thank everyone from the local community who took part and shared their views in the public consultation particularly as Covid restrictions meant we had to carry it out online.

“Our focus will now turn to studying and fulfilling the various planning conditions associated with the consent which need to be met before taking the project forward.”

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