Aluminium producer Alro reached an agreement with Aluminium Pechiney, a major aluminium conglomerate based in France, part of Rio Tinto Aluminium (RTA), in April 2018 to implement at Slatina a new low energy reduction pot design, a press release informs. This will allow Alro to reduce the amount of electricity needed to produce aluminium.
“Over the past 15 years we placed a strong emphasis on investments to increase the operational efficiency and reducing the energy consumption has always been a significant part of this programme”, said Gheorghe Dobra, CEO Alro. “While the past investments helped us become one of the most efficient aluminium smelters in Europe, we still need fine tuning solutions to further lower the electricity consumption. We are confident that this agreement signed with RTA will support our operational efficiency plans and will get us closer to our goal of becoming a Green Factory, Next Generation Factory, Innovating and Sustainable”.
Under this agreement, in September 2018 the actual construction of the reduction pots according to the new AP12LE design will be initiated. This project aims at reducing the specific energy consumption by approximately 300 kWh/tonne of aluminium, while maintaining the current production.
The AP12LE technology targets an energy consumption below 13 kWh/tonne, from an average of 13.28 kWh/tonne from the AP9 pots type currently in use at ALRO, while maintaining current efficiency at its current level (more than 95.5 percent). The AP12LE pots design is based on the “Technology Brick” approach, developed by RTA and using new relining materials, new cathodes and metallic bar assemblies and slotted anodes.
Modernization of the plant will take place in stages, in compliance with the pot repair schedule, and will not impact the production of aluminium.
Transition from the current pot design will start in 2019 and will follow the natural relining speed of all pots from Alro during next eight years. By implementing the AP12LE project, Alro aims at becoming part of the top ten world’s most efficient energy consumers in relation to the tonne of primary aluminium produced (except China).
Last year, Slatina-based company invested over RON 142 million for technological upgrading, operational efficiency and customer portfolio expansion.