September 10, 2019

Alcoa advances refinery residue filtration for best-practice

The new best-practice filtration facility will compliment Alcoa’s strong environmental performance.

Significant local procurement and employment benefits have been delivered through an innovative project at Alcoa of Australia’s Pinjarra Alumina Refinery that will reduce the operation’s footprint and improve its environmental performance.

More than 230 Western Australian businesses secured work for the construction of a new residue filtration facility, with the lead contract awarded to Henderson-based engineering and construction firm Civmec.

Civmec directly employed more than 300 people for the project since it commenced in 2017, with about half of those employees from the Peel Region.

Bauxite residue at the refinery is currently deposited as slurry into storage areas, then solar dried. The new facility will process about 50 percent of the mud fraction of the bauxite residue using a filtration and stacking method. Filtration extracts moisture from the residue before it is stored, reducing the amount of land required.
Alcoa is the first major alumina producer in Australia to use the filtration and stacking technology in lieu of solar drying, with a similar facility already operating at its Kwinana refinery.

Alcoa of Australia Chairman and Managing Director Michael Parker said the residue filtration project was a key component of Alcoa’s continued operation in Western Australia.

“By being more resourceful and significantly changing the residue management process, we are improving water recovery and demonstrating our ongoing commitment to improve the sustainability of our operations,” Mr Parker said.

“The project has also been instrumental in boosting our workforce throughout the Peel region.

“Alcoa actively employs people and businesses from the communities nearest to our operations. It’s great to have people on the job who are personally invested in the area where they work.”

Mr Kieran McElchar, Civmec Manager Operations, said Civmec was thrilled to have been awarded the opportunity to undertake the project.

“Together with our local suppliers and subcontractors we have successfully delivered the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of the project,” Mr McElchar said.

“We have directly employed more than 300 local staff while providing opportunities for the continued development of our apprentices and graduates involved throughout the project.”

Alcoa of Australia has been contributing economically and socially in Western Australia for more than 55 years. Each year, some $2.1 billion is injected by Alcoa into the Australian economy through engaging with local businesses, services, and products. Alcoa employs about 3,750 people across WA, and more than 4,275 people Australia wide.


Media contact
Louisa Loder, Community Relations Officer, 9531 6240,

Editor’s note
Alcoa of Australia (Alcoa) has a proud history in Australia which it hopes to continue by remaining internationally competitive, attracting ongoing investment and providing jobs for future generations.
• Alcoa has been contributing to Australia’s economy since 1963, investing more than $12 billion over 55 years.
• More than 65 per cent of Alcoa’s total annual revenue stays in Australia through wages, local purchasing, taxes, royalties, capital investment and dividends to Australian shareholders.
• Alcoa employs more than 4,275 people in Australia. About 3,750 live in WA.
• In our 55 years, Alcoa has taken on more than 2000 apprentices, trainees and graduates.
• Alcoa invested $1.7 billion with Australian suppliers in 2017.
• Alcoa paid $654 million in Australian wages, salaries and associated benefits in 2017.
• Alcoa paid $400 million in State, Federal and Local government taxes and royalties in 2017.
• Alcoa made $4.2 million in community contributions in 2017.

About Alcoa
Alcoa (NYSE: AA) is a global industry leader in bauxite, alumina and aluminum products, with a strong portfolio of value-added cast and rolled products and substantial energy assets. Alcoa is built on a foundation of strong values and operating excellence dating back nearly 130 years to the world-changing discovery that made aluminum an affordable and vital part of modern life. Since developing the aluminum industry, and throughout our history, our talented employees have followed on with breakthrough innovations and best practices that have led to efficiency, safety, sustainability and stronger communities wherever we operate. Visit us online on, follow @Alcoa on Twitter and on Facebook at