Alba launches the Middle East’s first Coke Calciner Plant
Aluminum Bahrain (Alba) recently opened the region’s first coke calcining plant at the company's Sitra marine terminal. The $400-million plant, constructed by the German Technip-Coflexip company, also includes a seawater desalination plant.
The facility’s output is expected to meet Bahrain’s local need for 250,000 tons of calcinated petroleum coke a year, eliminating the island’s dependency on imports. It will be used mainly in making anodes in Alba's electrolysis plant. Another 200,000 tons of the product will be directed towards export marketing each year, reported the official BNA news agency.
This lump sum turnkey project, worth about €220 million, was awarded by ALBA in April 1999 to Technip-Coflexip. Under the terms of the contract, Technip-Coflexip designed and built two grassroots petroleum calcining units of 450,000 ton/year and four seawater desalination lines producing 41.000 cubic meters a day at Sitra, near Manama. Gas from furnaces will be burnt and the generated heat will feed boilers to produce steam which will be used by the seawater desalination lines.
The plant was built within the framework of a $1.7 billion company expansion scheme, which also includes the construction of a new power station with a 650-megawatt capacity and a $500 million port, as well as a $250 million 20,000-ton aluminum alloy facility. Alba’s output is thus forecasted to rise by 50 percent over the next two years, and reach 750,000 tons per annum by 2004.
Alba is currently rated the second largest aluminum smelter operation in the Middle East, after United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Dubai Aluminum (Dubal). Alba began operating in 1971. It has its own shipping terminal, receiving constant supplies of raw materials including aluminum, petroleum coke and liquid pitch.
Alba is a joint venture in which the Bahraini government holds a 77 percent stake. The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund holds 20 percent of Alba shares, while the remaining three percent are held by the German Breton Investments Group.
Petroleum coke calcining is a process in which moisture and volatile combustion matter is removed from green coke using heat, thus upgrading the coke to nearly pure carbon. Calcined petroleum coke is predominantly used by the primary metals industry, for the production of aluminum, iron and steel. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)