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Invercargill - NZ Aluminium Smelters Furnace Foundations

The construction of the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter Metals Products ‘X’ Furnace foundation was carried out during February and early March 2007. The project required a 12m x 8m x 4.2 deep insitu concrete foundation structure to be constructed in extremely difficult ground conditions and within metres of existing furnaces operating at temperatures of up to 750ºC.

To complicate matters further, our programme as the Main Contractor only allowed 5 weeks for the demolition, temporary works and foundation to be completed. Work also needed to be co-ordinated so as not to disrupt the hot metal carrier passage or production from the adjacent furnaces. Forming a dry pit inside a very congested and dangerous site within wet running gravels was always going to be a significant challenge.

The contract was completed to a high standard, within the five week programme and on budget. With just over 6,000 man hours required to complete this project there were no Health and Safety nor Environmental incidents.

Job Specification

  • Contract Value: $ 1,164,000.00
  • Contract Period: 5 weeks
  • Client: NZ Aluminium Smelters Ltd
  • Project Manager: Bechtel
  • Structural Engineer: Sinclair Knight Merz Ltd


  • Lindsay Buckingham NZAS Ltd (03) 218 5999
  • Lindsay Buckingham Becthel (03) 218 5830


  • Gold Reserve Award
  • RMBF 2008 Commercial Project Awards
  • Pacific Steel Industrial Utility Project