Gardanne Plant -  Alteo headquarters and calcined alumina production facility.

Address: Alteo Gardanne, Route de Biver, 13120 Gardanne, France


Download Alteo key facts

Key facts

There from the beginning – the world’s first Bayer Plant

  • Built in 1893, it is the world’s largest producer of specialty alumina.
  • The plant capacity is 635kT per year
  • The main products are aluminium trihydroxide and calcined aluminas.
    • Hydrate can be supplied coarse (wet or dry) or fine
    • Aluminas supplied include calcined (normal and low soda), ground and superground
  • In 2012 sales exceeded 460kt for a turnover in excess of 210M€
  • Over 90 different products are shipped globally to more than 350 customers located at nearly 600 delivery sites
  • Major markets are ceramics, refractories, glass, chemicals, feedstock and flame retardants with particularly strong presence in applications such as LCD glass, automotive ceramics, tiles, monolithic refractories




  • At the site there are nearly 400 employees with over 250 subcontractors. It is home to the R&D group, as well as commercial and technical applications teams.
  • The plant is a major contributor to the local economy; as an employer, as a user of the Port of Marseille, as a user of rail freight to import around 3000T of bauxite daily and user of other logistic services to ship more than 1200T of product daily.
  • Certification: ISO9001 (Quality), ISO14001 (Environment) and OHSAS 18001 (Health and Safety)
  • Investments have been made in plant and people – product grinding and storage facilities, installation of six-sigma and lean management systems
  • Investments have been made to reduce environmental emissions – CO2, dust and SO2




  • Investments have been made to sustain the business and stop rejection of bauxite residues to sea by 2016 – through installation of a filter press, with another, much larger one, in progress and the development of the Bauxaline product line.

For further details of these facts please consult the following other sections:

Markets and products

World of alumina – production processes and products

News – for updates on investments, new products and organizational developments.



Gardanne Plant by night

1893: Société française de l’alumine pure (SFAP) created the first Bayer alumina plant in the world built and located in Gardanne due to proximity to coal and bauxite



1950: Compagnie Pechiney formed

1950s: Plant conversion to continuous process

1985: Acquisition of Reynolds low-soda technology

Mid 80s: Start of rapid rise in non-metallurgical products

1999: Installation of double digestion to increase efficiency of bauxite extraction as local bauxite is phased out



2003: Integration with other non-metallurgical activities of Pechiney. Pechiney becomes part of Alcan

2007: Rio Tinto purchases Alcan and Rio Tinto Alcan Specialty Aluminas formed

2009: 100% specialty alumina producer

2012: Alteo Gardanne formed after divestment of the specialty aluminas group by Rio Tinto




Alteo Gardanne

Route de Biver

13120 Gardanne