On 15 September, Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) celebrated a milestone achievement in its Phase II expansion: First Hot Metal (FHM). Completed three months earlier than scheduled, the milestone FHM marks the start of production for EMAL’s Phase II, as it heads towards a total production of 1.3 million metric tonnes of aluminium a year.
EMAL’s Al Taweelah-based Phase I was completed ahead of time and within budget. Phase I currently supplies the world with high quality metal, contributing 0.4% of the UAE’s total GDP in 2012 and 2013 to help meet the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision for industrial diversification. This was achieved safely garnering global recognition, including a Best Health and Safety Achievements in Construction “High Commendation” at the 5TH annual SHP Institution of Occupational Safety and Health Awards.
Faster, safer and better, the construction of Phase II has exceeded the already exemplary standards achieved in the construction of its Phase I, setting new global industry records in the process.
Phase II has achieved FHM a full four months faster than Phase I, delivering 20% more value in $/tonne investment, whilst maintaining an incredible zero LTI record representing 40 million man-hours of work done, testament to the strength of a commitment to “SAFETY FIRST, LAST AND ALWAYS.” Taking just two years, it is also the fastest that any aluminium smelter has reached FHM.
Speaking at the FHM event EMAL, President and CEO, Saeed Fadhel Al Mazrooei, said: “Reaching first hot metal safer, faster and better not only exceeds the successes achieved in Phase I, but highlights the ability of Emirati excellence to set new industry standards on a global scale.”
The achievements of Phase II are impressive. Stretching 1.7km, EMAL Phase II has the longest pot line in the world, consisting of 444 reduction pots built with DUBAL aluminium for their cathode bus ring. Using Dubal developed DX+ technology, Phase II operates with the highest amperage in the region at 440 KA which is built to creep in future to reach 460 KA.
Among its world leading credentials EMAL now possesses the largest single site production capacity - 1.3 million tonnes Al/year; the world’s longest potline ever built - 1.7km long; the world’s largest gas treatment centre; the world’s biggest anode baking furnace; the biggest single site captive power plant; the highest single-line capacity green anode manufacturing plant; the first to use 2000 V rectifier/transformers. EMAL also has one of the largest single-site Casthouse, with a 1.65 million tonnes/year casting capacity.
Yousuf Bastaki, EMAL Vice President – Projects, said: “The successes achieved in the completion of Phase I gave us the knowledge, experience and expertise to not only repeat our accomplishments in Phase II, but with the inspiration from our Board, guidance from our President and CEO, support from the Executives and commitment of the team, we have managed to deliver unbelievable results. At EMAL we never stand still, and with the accomplishments we are celebrating today, can be confident in our abilities to consistently achieve higher levels of excellence and set new global standards.”
One key implementation strategy of the Phase II capacity increase has been to ensure a contribution from Phase I “lessons learned” into the scope, construction, commissioning and start-up of the new facilities. This contribution has been achieved by seconding a dedicated team of operations personnel to work along the project organization right from the start of the Feasibility Study in 2011.
This team of operations personnel – known as “the Ambassadors” – represent all areas of the plant operations (Power Plant, Energy Distribution, Carbon, port and raw material, Casthouse, Reduction and Central Maintenance Services) and are responsible for the “integration” of the new facilities with Phase 1.
Speaking on the successful FHM, Mr Bastaki said: “The expansion of Al Taweelah into one of the largest single-site smelters in the world is a project to be welcomed by all Emiratis. To exceed our previous accomplishments by reaching first hot metal ahead of schedule and without a single LTI is testament to the skill and commitment of everyone involved in delivering this major industrial project, which will help provide a sustainable economy well into the future.”