The Mozal aluminium smelter was set up in Mozambique in July 1998 by a consortium of investor companies that were lead by BHP Billiton. Backed by a US$2 billion investment the smelter was the largest private investment in the country. As the first large foreign direct investment in Mozambique, Mozal also increased international awareness of Mozambique in the business community, and reduced perceptions of the risk of investing in the country.
During the construction phase, the project contributed to the local economy through the creation of employment and the use of local contractors and suppliers. Since the smelter became operational, expenditure in the local economy grew to over US$100 million per annum.
Today, Mozal produces in excess of 560,000 tonnes of primary aluminium. Aluminium Pechiney AP35 technology is used to produce standard aluminium ingots. The smelter currently employs 1,200 direct employees and 700 contractors and has been a contributor to many more indirect jobs.
Since 2002, Mozal has progressively increased spending with Mozambican companies. This increase is the result of a focused drive by Mozal to award contracts to Mozambican suppliers who comply with the company’s Health, Safety, Environment and Community and business conduct principles.
Mozal, in partnership with other organisations, established the Mozambique’s Linkages Programme (Mozlink) in 2001. The programme has trained more than 100 small and medium enterprises and over 3,000 employees have directly benefitted from its activities. Participating SMEs, who have showed an average revenue growth of 34 per cent in total annual turnover during the past three years, have been enabled to generate more than US$30 million in revenue.