Saturday, 5 May 2012


Rena continues to give up little treasures - this week it was aluminium ingots. New Zealand Aluminium Smelters at Tiwai Pt, Bluff imports alumina and exports ingots and bar. Some the highest purity NZAS aluminium is used in the wing structure of the Airbus 380. This cargo was loaded in Bluff at the start of Rena's northbound voyage on September.

Packs of aluminium ingots were flown off the Rena, apparently 'none the worse for wear', over the past few day and will join the valuable salved property in the bonded Yard in Tauranga. The current price of aluminium is about US$1,900 per tonne so there will be some positive financial contribution.

The Antipodean Mariner

Aluminium ingot pack on its way

And stowed ready for off-loading


  1. AM, two great posts with I believe an interesting shipping link. The two coal fired ships working from Weipa to Gladstone probably carried the bauxite that eventually made the Aluminium ingots salvaged of the Rena. Did you pick up the link?
    The bauxite is mined at Weipa, converted to alumina (Al2O3) at Gladstone then shipped to Bluff to be smelted into Aluminium ingots. NZ Aluminium Smelters makes some of the highest purity Aluminium in the world. All operations are majority owned by Rio. Unfortunately they loaded it on the Rena to be stored on the Astrolab Reef for some time!

  2. Thanks Don, link well spotted. I hadn't made the connection. NZAS gets most of its alumina from Queensland Alumina (80% Rio Tinto owned) or Yarwun (100% Rio Tinto), both refineries in Gladstone, QLD. Some alumina is also brought in from BHP's Worsley refinery in WA. With the retirement of the specialized alumina carrier 'Altrans', alumina is predominately shipped on Handy 'loggers' as a positioning leg from Japan and Korea.