Alcan celebrated today the installation of the 100th kilometre of its unique alumina handling technology, HyperDense Phase System (HDPS), at the Sohar Aluminium Smelter in the Sultanate of Oman.
"This ground-breaking air-injection alumina handling technology is now leading the market for aluminum smelters around the globe," said Jean-Michel Philbert, General Manager of Alcan Engineering in Gardanne. "Thanks to this reliable technology, alumina-feeding breakdown is virtually eliminated, which leads to improved efficiency and significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions," he concluded.
HDPS, which is based on the fluidisation principle, is a technology used to feed aluminum smelting cells with alumina. Alumina is normally dense and difficult to handle; however, it flows very easily as a result of the air injection used during the HDPS process.
"HDPS, which is patented by Alcan, is acknowledged as a benchmark for the aluminum industry, successfully feeding more than 5,300 aluminum smelting cells around the world," said David Holmyard, Managing Director of Alcan Engineering, Brisbane, Australia.
Mr. Holmyard presented the '100th kilometre' trophy to Tony Kinsman, CEO of the Sohar Aluminium Company, during a ceremony in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Representatives from Sohar Aluminium shareholders - Oman Oil Company (OOC), Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) and Alcan - as well as Bechtel (the smelter's engineering, procurement, construction, and project management contractor) were present as well as other local personalities.
In February 2005, Alcan, OOC and ADWEA signed the Sohar Aluminium Company shareholder agreement for construction of the US$2.4 billion Sohar smelter and power facility. Alcan has taken a 20 percent stake and a management and operational assistance role in this 350 thousand tonne per year smelter that will utilize the Company's proprietary AP35 smelting technology. The smelter will be the most technologically advanced smelter in the world and is expected to operate in the lowest quartile of the global cost curve. It is expected to begin production in the third quarter of 2008.
Alcan, through its Alcan Engineering and Alesa businesses, designs and implements projects related to the bauxite refining process and alumina handling.