Manufacturing quality products to meet customer expectations at competitive prices in order to survive in today’s fast changing business environment require best practices in every aspect of job execution on continual basis. The availability and reliability of systems and equipment to support production such as the type employed in Aluminum smelting is paramount in meeting deadlines and satisfying contractual obligations to all stakeholders.

Maintenance, Engineering and Material handling, has significant and multidimensional influence on a company’s image and profitability, especially for those that are equipment dependant such as VaLco, where every minute of lost time could translate into huge cost and threat to products quality and services. Maintenance and Engineering effectiveness in the manufacturing industry is best measured by equipment uptime, delivery effectiveness, reliability and consistency of machines and equipment in a cost effective manner.

VALCO’s DEM department is designed to ensure equipment availability at its optimal safe operating condition by implementing the best practices in the field today, such as Preventive Maintenance (PM), Predictive Maintenance (Pdm), Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) all managed by a well established Computerized Maintenance Management System(CMMS).


The vision of DEM department is to team up with all stakeholders to work towards making VaLco a world class facility producing 200,000 MT of high quality metal, at 95% current efficiency, with 3000 days cell life, using 0.40% net carbon, and working with zero injury.


Turn vessel around at the VaLco berth in a way that would earn the company net dispatch. Install the appropriate state of the art retrofitted technology, available to operation to meet the strategic objective of the plant. Maintain the capability of the company’s assets to perform their designed function with 98% uptime in a way that plant products will meet customers’ needs, provide safe, challenging and rewarding employment and maximize the value of our assets.


  • Plan, schedule, audit, monitor and trend all maintenance activities in the various shops and field sections.
  • Support the monitoring and procurement of spare parts acquisition processes for critical equipment.
  • Administering and training of employees in the application of safety equipment, materials and industrial safety in general.

As with all departments forming VaLco, the Dock-Engineering-Maintenance department was crafted with the actualization of the plant vision, mission and core values as a culture and a way of life.


The core tasks of the Engineering (Electrical and Mechanical) section of the Department are broadly defined as following:

  • Utilize the plant standard for engineering design and review for engineering projects.
  • Assure that engineering projects are completed in timely manner and within budget.
  • Provide the engineering support necessary to achieve area equipment performance capability and/or new equipment installations that will enhance revenue through value added products
  • Provide engineering support for meeting environmental targets in the plant.
  • Identify and implement, upon approval, engineering projects to improve area and plant performance.
  • Provide engineering support for the entire plant by way of projects planning, designs and implementation.
  • Modifications and Re-engineering
  • Documentation of engineering and technical information for all plant equipment and facilities.
  • Key role in recommendation of equipment, materials, parts and technical support from various stake holders for the plant.
  • Contracting and outsourcing of appropriate projects, services and procurement for the department and plant at large.


The Dock Section of the DEM Department is an amalgam of three sub-sections. These sub-units are the VaLco Dock, the Transport and Parcel # 3. All three units are linked for a continuous logistics management operation.


Essentially, the Dock section has three major responsibilities:

  • Turning around vessels faster to ensure that VaLco earns Net Dispatch.
  • Storage and timely delivery of Raw Materials i.e., Alumina, Pet Coke and Pitch from vessels that dock at the berth and other Operational Supplies to the User departments.
  • Receives and transport finished products to VaLco dock for shipment to our value customers both locally and overseas.


Parcel 3 is Valco’s raw material storage and reclamation center.
using a combination of overhead and underground conveyors, and bucket elevators.
There are 2 silos for Alumina: the Dome with a capacity of 50000MT and the alumina silo capable of storing 25000MT.  Pet Coke has three silos, each with a capacity for storing 7700MT.
Lastly, Pitch has a temporary silo for storing 5080MT.


The Transport section is responsible for trucking the Plant’s bulk raw materials from storage to the user departments, and meeting all miscellaneous Transport requests.


This section is responsible for Preventive, Scheduled, Breakdowns, and Predictive maintenance in the various areas of their responsibility These are:

  • Casthouse
  • Cell Lines / Cell Repairs
  • Carbon Roding
  • Green carbon
  • Carbon Bake
  • Rectifier
  • Parcel #1, #2, #3 at Docks.
  • Cranes.
  • Special Projects.
  • 21-Turn (Trouble Shooting)


This section is responsible for supporting our fleet of vehicles; Repairing and machining major components and parts; Fabricating parts and supporting major projects; refurbishing our numerous variety of electric motors and welding machines; Various Hi-tech electronic components and machines; Non-destructive testing of major equipment and  sustaining the conditioning of cooling systems for offices and sensitive equipment). They are:

  • Garage
  • Mechanical shop
  • Machine shop
  • Fabrication / Rod Repair shop
  • Motor Rewinding shop
  • Instrument / Non-Destructive-Test shops
  • Air Condition shop


  • Provide adequate craft training for technicians (Electrical/Electronic, Mechanical, Masonry, Welding and Fabrication) to sustain the succession plan of the facility and the manifestation of the VaLco vision and mission of training and providing employment for the Ghanaian unemployed youth.
  • Providing refresher training for our employees to keep them refreshed and abreast with current best in class maintenance and operational practices.
  • Provide research, Incident investigations and Technical support for maintenance and plant operations and safety management.