Dubal, GE Energy team up to improve energy efficiency
Apr 30, 2012 | 07:00 PM
| Nathan Laliberte
The price of energy has reached unprecedented levels in the past decade. In an effort to lower energy costs, many metal manufacturers are developing innovative solutions to reduce overall energy consumption.
Aluminum, in particular, is especially costly to produce, with electricity accounting for nearly one-third of total production costs. One company, Dubai Aluminium Co. Ltd. (Dubal), has taken a proactive stance to save power in an energy-reduction initiative with GE Energy that focuses primarily on its fleet of gas turbines.
State-owned Dubals production complex south of Dubai produces about 960,000 tonnes of aluminum annually for customers in 48 countries. The facility, expanded several times over the past 30 years, is currently powered by 23 gas turbines running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to produce enough electricity to power the plants massive smelters. In all, the complex has a generation capacity of 2,350 megawatts, making the operation completely autonomous in terms of energy requirements.
The process of manufacturing aluminumconverting alumina into metallic aluminumrequires a large amount of electricity. During the smelting process, a direct electrical current with extremely high amperage (usually 150,000 amperes or more) must be channeled through a cryolite/alumina mixture to achieve the desired chemical reactions. Additionally, the potline must run around the clock; any power interruptions can cause the pots to freeze, resulting in irreversible damage. The entire process uses so much energy that aluminum smelters accounted for nearly 3 percent of global energy consumption in 2011. ....
To access AMM's full content, please log in below. If you do not have an AMM account, we invite you to take a free trial or subscribe below.
Already a registered amm.com user?
Access to amm.com editorial content is granted only to paid subscribers and trialists. If you do not have an active account in your own name, please either subscribe or take a trial and you will have instant access to amm.com content. Sharing your login credentials with individuals who are not subscribers represents a violation of AMM copyright.
Every morning, every minute no matter how often you follow the markets, there's an AMM subscription to fit your needs.
Not sure if you are ready to invest in a subscription right now? Take a free, no-obligation trial. Start your free trial today.