The Fortunes of Bauxite – Part 2 – Alumina

The Fortunes of Bauxite – Alumina – Part 2

By Dmitri Allicock – for Guyanese Online

The Opening of the Alumina Plant in 1961

The Alumina Plant opened Tuesday, March 28, 1961. Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Cheddie Jagan, declared Demba’s $65 million Alumina Plant open with the turn of the control lever. He set the loader in action, giving a token finish to the loading of the S.S Sunhenderson with the first shipment of alumina ever to leave British Guiana.

The Demba Digest 1said no single construction project ever done in British Guiana has been as big as the building of Demba’s Alumina Plant. It dwarfs all others in cost, in the amount of materials it absorbed and in the quantity and quality of work that have been expended in its erection.

When Sprostons Construction Company personnel’s started this job in Dec. 1956, they had to solve a tremendous problem. They had to provide a solid foundation in the 420,000 square yards of swamp and bush where the plant with its huge, heavy tanks and equipment was to stand. After determining the nature of the subsoil, they drained the swamp and cleared away the vegetation. Then they laid a foundation of steel and greenheart piling, which they drove up to 100 feet into the ground. Thirty two miles of steel piles and sixteen miles of greenheart piling were driven into the ground. The Alumina Plant production capacity was 230,000 tons of alumina a year in 1961.

Read complete article: THE FORTUNES OF BAUXITE- ALUMINA – Part 2

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