5 Dec 2016

New Caledonia Koniambo furnace to be rebuilt

3:12 pm on 5 December 2016

The Koniambo nickel plant in New Caledonia is to get its second furnace rebuilt.

An aerial view taken on September 22, 2015 in Voh, in North Province, New Caledonia shows the Koniambo Nickel SAS (KNS) metallurgical plant belonging to Glencore and Societe miniere du Sud Pacifique.

The Koniambo Nickel plant in North Province, New Caledonia. Photo: AFP

This follows a meeting of Glencore, which is a major investor in the multi-billion dollar plant.

However, the planned dismissal of about 140 employees is still to go ahead.

The $US70 billion plant was shut for weeks after Christmas 2014 after about 500 tonnes of liquid nickel was spilled from one of the furnaces, incurring the company millions of US dollars of damage.

Last month, the French prime minister Manuel Valls confirmed to the president of New Caledonia's northern province Paul Neaoutyne that the power plant for the Koniambo smelter would benefit from concessions worth more than $US200 million.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs