SLOVALCO, a joint stock company, was established in 1993 with the aim to modernize obsolete and inefficient production of aluminium. Since 1996, the new, high-performance and environmentally friendly plant operates at its full capacity.
In March 1981, an investment design entitled “Modernization of Aluminium Production” was prepared as feedback to the growing consumption of aluminium, obsolete and inefficient aluminium production technology in Ziar nad Hronom and to the negative environmental impact of production in Ziar valley.
The know-how agreement was signed in March 1986 with the Norwegian company Ardal og Sunndal Verk, which in June 1986 became a part of Hydro Aluminium. The technology was based on the use of modern electrolytic cells (pots), pre-baked anodes and fume treatment plants.
Until 1989, the project was funded from the state budget. After political changes, the funding from the state budget was stopped and it was necessary to find alternative funding options. About 60 % of the project was already under construction at that time.
On 7 June 1993 Slovalco was established and was wholly-owned by ZSNP, a. s. In October 1993 the capital participation was divided between ZSNP, a. s., 80 %, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) 10 % and Hydro Aluminium 10 %. EBRD extended credit and specialists from Hydro Aluminium and Slovalco, a.s. formed a project team in order to complete the construction. The aluminium was first produced in a modern and ecological way on 1 June 1995. Full-scale production was reached in December 1995. At that time, 172 pots (230 kA) were in operation. Design capacity was 108,500 tonnes per year. As part of the project the extrusion ingots Casthouse was built.
During the project of “Aluminium Production Modernization” certain facilities were designed to enable a further increase in production if necessary in the future with minimum investment costs. In March 2001 the Expansion project was approved. Later, the project was enhanced by an intensification project involving the intensification of the current in the Potroom from 230 kA to 250 kA. In April 2003 the whole pot line reached 250 kA and on 6 August the last of 54 new pots installed within the Expansion project was put into operation. Today, Slovalco operates 226 pots. The production capacity of primary aluminium represents approximately 165 thousand tons per year.
SLOVALCO, a. s.currently employs 500 people, who each year contribute to the production of liquid aluminium.