Old Kinlochleven and the Highland Aluminium Industry


At the end of the 19th century, scientists discovered a way of separate aluminium from other mineral in a process which needed very considerable  amounts of electricity.

The British Aluminium Company realised that the that the Highlands of Scotland where the ideal location for generating the quantities of electricity required, using hydro-electricity, but in much larger installations than previously. A small installation was built at Foyers on Loch Ness, but a much bigger plant was started in 1905, when work began on a huge dam and water supply system high in the mountains to the south of Ben Nevis with the power station being at the head of Loch Leven to the south of Fort William, and Kinloch leven power station, works and town was born.

The works were closed in 2000 after a life of all but 100 years, but the power-station still supplies the area with its power.

In 1921 a much bigger smelter was started at Fort William which involved a tunnel 15 miles long being driven under Ben Nevis. This is very briefly covered here.

Over the years we have sold a number of books on Scotland's post-war hydro-electric schemed, all now out of print, but these were the very first such schemes.

48 pages and 48 full page B&W photographs, plus 4 small colour photographs on the inside of the covers. Paperback