Alcoa announced today that its Kwinana alumina refinery in Australia was recognized for excellence in the Australian mining industry when it was named ‘Minerals Processing Plant of the Year’ at the annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards sponsored by Australian Mining, Australia’s premier mining news website.
The ‘Minerals Processing Plant of the Year’ award is presented to an organization which has improved productivity, safety, and environmental standards or has reached notable milestones using new technology, innovative processes or techniques.
Kwinana was honored largely for its carbon capture technology which locks up significant amounts of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. The Kwinana plant has the capacity to lock up 70,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.
“That’s the equivalent of reducing the emissions of 17,500 cars,” said Alcoa TDG Residue Development Manager Dr David Cooling.
The Technology Delivery Group (TDG), Alcoa’s global refining research and development group based at Kwinana, set a new world benchmark for the alumina industry with the creation of carbon capture.
“Through our membership of the Kwinana Industries Council, we continue to contribute to research into how Kwinana industries can achieve ‘waste’ synergies by using each others’ by-products - carbon capture is one of those ways,” Dr Cooling said.
Alcoa’s Kwinana refinery locks up carbon dioxide from a nearby ammonia plant, demonstrating how industry can form sustainability partnerships to re-use waste products.
Alcoa Western Australia Residue Manager Allan Bermingham said: “We’re investigating options for deployment of the technology across all three of our Western Australia refineries, which could lead to carbon dioxide savings of 300,000 metric per year, which is equivalent to cutting emissions of 70,000 autos.”
Innovative Mining Solutions Win
Alcoa’s Western Mining Group was also recognized at the awards ceremony with a Highly Commended in ‘Innovative Mining Solutions category for a bearing lifting jig developed by employees from Mining’s fixed plant department.
Manager of Mines, Bill Knight, said: “This is a great example of an engineering solution being applied to solve a safety challenge and demonstrates the creativity of solving problems at the source by the people who perform the work.”