Norway and Switzerland have become important producers of chemicals, and pastoral districts such as those in which Niagara or Foyers are situated manufacturing centres.
In 1895 the British Aluminium Company was founded to mine bauxite and manufacture alumina in Ireland, to prepare the necessary electrodes at Greenock, to reduce the aluminium by the aid of water-power at the Falls of Foyers, and to refine and work up the metal into marketable shapes at the old Milton factory of the Cowles Syndicate, remodelled to suit modern requirements.
Alumina is treated at works near Foyers in the shire of Inverness, where abundant water power enables electricity to be generated cheaply.
The Foyers installation is the largest water-power plant in the United Kingdom.
The Foyers works and its associated railroad were closed in 1967, with the same steam pug still in operation.