Building destroyed in Tiwai Pt smelter fire

The smelter at Tiwai Point. Photo: ODT files
The smelter at Tiwai Point. Photo: ODT files
Seven fire crews have battled to put out a fire at the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter in Southland overnight.

Fire and Emergency crews were called to the fire at New Zealand Aluminium Smelter, near Bluff, about 2.45am, southern communications shift manager Brent Dunn said.

The fire had completely destroyed an internal building of the plant, measuring 5m by 20m, between two potlines, Dunn said.

“There were no injuries, nothing outside that building has been damaged, and production has not been affected. The plant is still running.”

It was a “surgical” operation due to the surrounding area, Dunn said.

“It was a difficult, surgical operation, as there is so much electricity and hot molten metal everywhere, so crews had to be very careful.”

They also had to take care with run-off.

The fire had been contained and six crews remained on site damping the area down.

“We will be there some time,” Dunn said.

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