Drought in Zululand, South Africa, and the call by the municipality of uMhlathuze for industry to reduce water consumption, prompted our South Africa Aluminium team to investigate ways to secure water supply for our plant at our Hillside operation. The team found that a desalination plant would be able to not only supply water we need for our operations, it could be used to supplement the municipal supply in times of need.

We worked with others in the community and it took just 28 weeks from inception to the tap being turned on for the first time.  The R72-million plant draws water from nearby Richards Bay Harbour and is delivered to the desalination plant at Hillside by a 2.3km pipe, where it is passed through membranes to produce freshwater from saltwater.