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Tuesday, May 11, 2021


Powerhouse, Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), 1950

You need a great deal electricity to make aluminum. That's why we have these giant dams with their giant hydroelectric power plants all over the Cascade Mountain Range here on the West Coast. Or maybe the aluminum smelters came because of the relatively cheap power. But aluminum is evidently so valuable that building your own power plant is a worthwhile proposition. 

By the mid-1950s, the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) had 220 normally scavenged and 22 supercharged Nordberg radial engines installed in its Port Lavaca, Texas aluminum plant. Combined, these engines could produce 475,000 hp (354,207 kW). The engines were arranged in seven powerhouses, consisting of around 40 engines each. - Old Machine Press

The plant at Port Lavaca was shut down a couple of years ago. 

Alcoa Plant, Point Comfort, Texas

Point Comfort is on the Gulf Coast about 100 miles SW of Houston and a hundred miles SE of San Antonio. Looks a lot like other industrial sites around the shores of Galveston Bay, east of Houston.

Gunpowder and fertilizer (ammonia) production are also big power eaters.

Via daily timewaster

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