Our plant

Gardanne Plant - Alteo headquarters and calcined alumina production facility.


Started in 1893, the Gardanne plant was the first producer of alumina using the Bayer process.

Today, Alteo Gardanne has evolved into one of the world leaders in specialty alumina production and offers a wide range of products for many markets:

  • Technical ceramics for automobiles, electronics, ballistic protector
  • Refractories, for the metallurgical industry
  • Special glass for LCD screens
  • Tiles and porcelains
  • Fireproofing, fire-retardant materials
  •  Etc ...

More than 90 different products are shipped to more than 400 customers, at nearly 600 sites worldwide.

In 2015, more than 400 000t were sold for a turnover of around 190 million euros.

We have invested many millions of euros over the last 5 years:

  • In production systems: grinding and storage equipment, implementation of lean management
  • For the environmental, to ensure a constant reduction of CO2, SO2 and dust emissions
  • For sustainability development, with the cessation of bauxite residues into the sea and the upgrading ofBauxaline® .

The plant has nearly 400 employees and employs close to 300 subcontractors. It hosts R&D center as well as the sales and technical teams.

It is a major contributor to the local economy: not only as an employer but also as a service demands such as local logistics resources (port of Marseille, rail network) as part of the daily import of 3000t of bauxite and of the export of more than 1200t of finished products every day.


For more information:


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