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In 1894, the newly formed British Aluminium Company Ltd. bought the exclusive British and Colonial rights for the Héroult process (the electrolytic method of producing aluminium discovered in 1886). The following year the company started work on a hydro-electric power scheme and small aluminium reduction factory at Foyers on the eastern banks of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands.

In its first year of production in 1896, the Foyers reduction works produced 64 tons of the primary metal for the small but growing global market for aluminium. Initially the Foyers works received supplies of some of the raw materials necessary for producing aluminium from their works at Larne in Northern Ireland (aluminium oxide – alumina) and carbon from their Greenock factory.

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