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Shaikh Daij and Regain’s managing director Bernie Cooper sign the deal for the SPL plant.

Shaikh Daij and Regain’s managing director Bernie Cooper sign the deal for the SPL plant.

Alba’s Line 6 among the fastest commissioned

January 2020

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), the world’s largest aluminium smelter outside China, said it has become one of the fastest expansion projects to be ever commissioned in the aluminium industry, with its  Potline 6 passing the final performance tests within 23 months, thus beating the average of 30 months for other similar industrial projects.

Announcing the key milestone, Alba’s chairman of the board of drectors Shaikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij Al Khalifa, said: “We are also very pleased to have completed Line 6 construction with a Capex less than $4,000 per metric tonne of aluminium produced, which is lower than the average Capex of other projects in the industry.”

“Also, selected pots in Potline 6 have passed the final performance tests with results exceeding the guarantees under the technology transfer agreement between Alba and Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA),” stated Shaikh Daij.

Alba said it had chosen EGA’s proprietary DX+ Ultra Technology for Potline 6 to boost its metal production. The DX+ Ultra Technology was originally committed to operate at 460 kA, (as per the contractual terms with EGA); however, Potline 6 is currently operating successfully at 465 kA (5 kA above the original design) when the current efficiency achieved is 95 per cent with energy consumption standing at 12.87 kilowatt hours per kg of aluminium produced.

In addition, Potline 6 outperformed some of the other EGA-guaranteed parameters – the production capacity of each reduction cell is 11 per cent higher while energy consumption is one per cent better.

On this achievement, Alba’s acting CEO Ali Al Baqali said: “We are very proud of our team for establishing a new benchmark for potline start-up in the industry as we have managed to start about 4.5 pots per day at some point then reaching a peak of eight pots per day.”

Alba also made history when it topped 15 million working-hours without Lost Time Injury (LTI) on December 21 for the first time since its commercial operations began in 1971.

Shaikh Daij stated: “2019 has been a significant year for Alba in many ways and we are proud to have amassed accolades. We thank our employees and contractors without whom this milestone would not have been possible.

Alba has been consistently delivering on its safety performance by first achieving 5 million working-hours without LTI on April 30, 2019 followed by first-time-ever 10 million working-hours without LTI on August 27, 2019.

Meanwhile, Alba last month also signed Australia-based Regain as the technology partner for its spent pot lining (SPL) treatment plant.

The aluminium giant had in September announced the establishment of the first-of-its-kind SPL treatment plant in the GCC.

Expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2021, the SPL, being implemented in collaboration with Bahrain’s Supreme Council for Environment (SCE), is a zero-waste process with a capacity to treat up to 35,000 tonnes of SPL a year then convert it to value-products.

According to Alba, the estimated budget for establishing the SPL treatment plant is close to $44 million.

A major player in proprietary technology sector, Regain not only provides process technology to transform SPL into valuable products but also a complete recycling solution to realise significant environmental and economic gains.

Since 2002, the Australian firm has treated more than 370,000 tonnes of SPL from smelters in Australia owned and operated by major aluminium producers.  

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