The fire in the casthouse-basement of ISAL, Rio Tinto Alcan's aluminium smelter in Straumsvik Iceland, on the evening of Thursday 19 August 2010 caused severe damage to electrical cables and required the immediate response and commitment of those companies specialising in servicing heavy industry in Iceland.
A number were called for assistance, amongst them Vélaverkstæði Hjalta Einarssonar ehf. (VHE) which has a long history of service at the Rio Tinto Alcan plant in Straumsvík.
The Rio Tinto Alcan smelter at Straumsvík, Iceland.
The comprehensive knowledge which the staff at the VHE have in this area together with a detailed understanding of the machines, technology and production aspects proved to be extremely useful in bringing the plant back to full production. Within 24 hours, one of two casters and one of four furnaces had been repaired and casting resumed.
A toatl of 22km of damaged electrical cables were removed from the casthouse basement.