Marcus Dennien prepares for the next stage of construction on Comalco's research and development centre.
Marcus Dennien prepares for the next stage of construction on Comalco's research and development centre.

Comalco relocates research to Gladstone

By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

"WE have a vision and that vision is to build a refining centre of excellence'' said Comalco Alumina Refinery (CAR) general manager Steve Dumble.

And to that end CAR has decided to relocate its research and development arm of the refining and mining group to Gladstone.

"This is an historic occasion for the company,'' Mr Dumble said.

"For the past 30 years our R&D has come out of Melbourne.

"What we are doing is relocating those laboratories here to Gladstone.''

Construction work has begun on the site.

"The construction of the laboratories will cost about $4 million and it is expected the work will be completed by June this year with the laboratories up and running by August,'' Mr Dumble said.

The new laboratories will be situated behind the Reliability Building at the CAR site.

"Basically we are extending our current laboratories to incorporate the new personnel,'' Mr Dumble explained.

"The new laboratories will be similar to the ones currently on site bringing the total number of labs up to eight.''

"Our R&D centre is the heart and soul of Comalco's bauxite and alumina effort,'' Mr Dumble said.

"We decided to relocate our R&D arm here to Gladstone because CAR has been a deliberate and strategic investment, and it will enable us to exploit our Weipa resource more fully.

"Centering our R&D base here also furthers our vision to make CAR a refining centre of excellence.''

CAR is currently recruiting up to 12 chemists and chemical engineers for the centre.

"It will be a challenge for us to relocate the group from Melbourne.

"But we have a world class facility here which has given us the chance to open up these opportunities for growth in the region,'' Mr Dumble said.



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