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Report - Kinlochleven Aluminium Smelter, Scottish Highlands



Gorecki

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
Something a bit different ... I thought it was one of the coolest things i've ever seen!! :D

The village of Kinlochleven was developed in the early 1900’s when the then North British Aluminium Company harnessed two of the Highlands natural assets – water and hills – to create the Blackwater Reservoir, a hydro-electric plant and the Kinlochleven Aluminium Smelter.
The smelter specialised in the production of high purity aluminium.

The demand for aluminium during the First World War brought an expansion of the scheme; 500 British soldiers and 1200 German prisoners-of-war constructed a 5-mile (8-km) long pipeline to bring more water from Loch Eilde Mhor by a circuitous route via the Blackwater reservoir to the power-house adjacent to the Kinlochleven Smelter.

View of how it was, photo from RCHAMS:

oldview.jpg


The smelter’s operator, Alcan Smelting and Power (UK) Ltd, announced in 1994 that, due to changing international patterns of demand, outdated technology and economies of sale, it would close around the turn of the century.
In March 1999, 96 people were employed in the smelter, with an anticipated closure date in June 2000.
In June 2000 the smelter finally closed.

Most of it was demolished apart from the Carbon Plant and the Power House.
The power house still remains and is now controlled remotley from Fort William.
The Carbon Plant is now called "The Ice Factor" and is an indoor ice climbing wall!

Arial view of whats left:

arialview-1.jpg


The pipes looking down towards the Power House.

php3UcG2sAM.jpg


So yeah... we decided to follow the pipes up the mountain.

php8DBeCnAM.jpg


Passing old cranes just abandoned there.

php8zwcbDAM.jpg


phpBC4JqfAM.jpg


phpbLiGMvAM.jpg


Got to the top of the hill .. we though... but noooo, the pipes continued down hill then back up another mountain. Naw.
You can see in the distance, they still continue up!!

phpEEyZhCAM.jpg


Back down to the power house.

IMG_6793.jpg


phpbEhApSAM.jpg


The old carbon plant:

icefactorold.jpg


And how it is today:

phpSwLkMrAM.jpg