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Aluminium - the Wonder Metal

Author: smith on 21-09-2013, 23:00, views: 1 921

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The ALSCON Project was successfully implemented during the administration

of General Sani Abacha GCON, Head of State and Commander in Chief

of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

 

The ALSCON Project was successfully implemented during the administrationThe ALSCON Project was successfully implemented during the administration

 

 

As an aircraft circled for descent at the Port Harcourt International Airport, 70 km South West of Ikot Abasi, numerous gas flares glowed against the night sky in the horizon. The scene arrested the attention of two passengers visiting the country for the first time.

'That is wealth being burnt away', one said.

'It is', confirmed the other.

The thought of putting a part of the gas to a more productive use set their minds ablaze. This was way back in the 1970's.

 

The foundation stone laying ceremony of the ALSCON Plant on November 20th, 1990 was witnessed by thousands of people, Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike

 

The foundation stone laying ceremony of the ALSCON Plant on November 20th, 1990 was witnessed by thousands of people, Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike    
   ALSCON

 

This fouddation stone of the

aluminium smelter plant was laid by

the president commander in chief of

the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria

 

General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida 

on thuesday 20th November 1990

 
       

 

At the same time, government officials in Nigeria were thinking along similar lines, with one option being to convert the gas to electricity and use it to produce aluminium. Up to then, Nigeria had been long importing aluminium ingot for its domestic consumption and what might be better than setting up an aluminium smelting plant within the country.

 

In Nigeria of the 1930's and 1940's, conventional grass and raffia roof matting gave way to galvanized (zinc coated) steel roofing and, to some extent, asbestos cement roofing. More durable than the forest materials, these manufactured roofing products did away with the perennial repairs and replacements.

 

The first ALSCON Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji, hand ing over supervision of the Aluminium project to A.V.M. Nura Iman (rtd.), the then Minister of Power and Steel on April 15th, 1992. Dr. Klaus von Menges, then Managing Director of ALSCON on the rightAluminium roofing did not play a large role, but where it was used, it remains today as a bright and durable roofing, distinctly different to the nasty brown appearance of iron roofs across the land - a direct result of the poor zinc coatings and the humid and potentially corrosive atmosphere of coastal regions.

 

Aluminium became even more prominent in the Nigerian kitchens, as millions of pots, pans, trays, plates and cups served the people as bright and easy to keep home utensils. Furthermore the conversion of  copper electrical cables to aluminium in the nation's electricity transmission system, underlined the potential for this very useful and easily transformed material to be produced and manufactured into value-added items right at home.


 

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Category: Modern industrialisation: The Ikot Abasi aluminium

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