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wagerup & willowdale celebrate 25 years
Alcoa is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Alcoa’s Wagerup Refinery and Willowdale Mine in Western Australia.
 
A new chapter in Alcoa’s already long history was being written in 1984: on 11 April the Wagerup Alumina Refinery and Willowdale Bauxite Mine were officially opened, bringing jobs and prosperity to the Waroona and Harvey Shires.
 
Since 1984 [between 1984 - end 2008], we have produced around 40 million tonnes of alumina - equivalent to around 2.6 million Boeing 747s or 1 trillion aluminium cans.
 
But all of that wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated people.  In 2009, we are celebrating 25 years of operation and paying tribute to those who have been with us since the beginning.
 
Willowdale employee Tony Vergone, who has been an Alcoan for 33 years, said flexibility was one of the best things about working for Alcoa.  He also mentioned the unique location of Wagerup as a big drawcard to the company.
 
“I enjoy my job and the people I work with, and being able to live on the coast less than an hour from Perth and work in a mine site environment is great,” Tony said.
 
Yarloop local and 25-year Wagerup veteran, Andrew “Benny” Goodman, saved a memento from the day the refinery first started up.

“As the first conveyor load of bauxite entered the mill I grabbed one of the first rocks to come up the belt. I put the rock in my change room locker and a few years ago rediscovered it. I keep it with me to this day,” Benny said.
 
Both current managers at Wagerup and Willowdale said the one thing, above all else, that contributed to the operations’ success over the past 25 years was the people.
 
“Each day more than 600 employees across various shifts make up the Wagerup team. They all pull together to make our facility operate safely, productively and to continue to improve,” said Wagerup Refinery Manager Eugenio Azevedo.
 
“To all who have contributed to the Wagerup and Willowdale operations over the past 25 years, my congratulations and heartfelt thanks.”
 
WA Operations Manager of Mines Bill Knight said that the ‘Willowdale spirit’ emerged in the early days of the mine.
 
“Willowdale people have always been motivated by a challenge, proud of their workplace and supportive of their workmates,” said Bill.
 
“This spirit is the reason that Willowdale is now considered part of the world’s leading bauxite mining operation.  People come from all over the world to see our mining operations and rehabilitation.
 
“Thank you to all who have contributed to this incredible story of success,” Bill said.
 
Visit our Wagerup Refinery micro-site for more information.
 
milestone birthday for anglesea
This year marks the 40th birthday of Alcoa’s Power Station at Anglesea in Victoria.
 
The Alcoa Anglesea Power Station began operating in 1969 and today operates at world class efficiency levels for brown coal fired power stations.  It supplies approximately 40 per cent of the power required by Alcoa’s Point Henry aluminium smelter near Geelong.
 
Just near our Power Station at Anglesea is our coal mine – which is required to required to complete the power generation cycle.  Alcoa’s operation of this coal mine celebrated it’s 40th anniversary in November last year.
 
Meantime, the Alcoa Anglesea Power Station continues to prepare for major maintenance and cleaning works scheduled to begin next week.
The Power Station will come off-line on Tuesday April 28. Known as ‘the maintenance shutdown’, these works are part of our standard operations and are scheduled to occur every four years.  During the shutdown we utilise over 200 additional contractors to join our 100 permanent employees on site.
 
Some work as part of the maintenance program will occur on site in shifts, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This work will include the replacement of the generator stator and exciter; a major refurbishment of the air pre-heater and seals; a boiler clean and inspection, overhaul, repair or replacement of equipment to insure that Anglesea will continue to meet benchmark availability over the next 4 years.


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First Wagerup Refinery Manager Malcolm Wills with current Wagerup Refinery Manager Eugenio Azevedo at our celebration event on 7 April, 2009



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Our 25 year employees were congratulated by Alcoa Managing Director Alan Cransberg at our Wagerup celebration event on 7 April 2009



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Andrew “Benny” Goodman has kept this piece of bauxite as a memento since the day he grabbed it off the conveyor belt on Wagerup’s start-up day 25 years ago



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Wagerup - 25 years ago



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Stator mid section being delivered to the Anglesea Power Station before commencement of the shutdown this month. For full story scroll down