Producing aluminium is an international process. Rio Tinto Alcan, majority owner of the Tīwai Point aluminium smelter, has bauxite deposits and mines, refineries, and smelters across the world. The raw materials for making aluminium are imported into New Zealand, and in 2007 approximately 87% of the aluminium produced was exported.
New Zealand contributes cheap electricity. When the smelter was being built, Manapōuri hydroelectricity was reported to be one-quarter the price of electricity in Japan (Japanese companies were part of the consortium that owned the smelter).
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