LONDON United Co. Rusal
will upgrade its alumina refineries in Jamaica so that steam
production will run on natural gas power instead of fuel oil in
a drive to cut costs in an oversupplied market, the Russian
company said April 25.
Rusal operates three alumina
refineries in Jamaicathe Windalco refineries (Ewarton and
Kirkvine) and the Alpart refinery. The three plants will start
receiving natural gas supplies in 2016.
"It is expected that the costs
associated with this long-term natural gas supply project will
be substantially less than ... heavy oil schemes," Rusal
The gas will be supplied under a
long-term contract with BP Plc and will be delivered to Jamaica
by Swiss company Sea One AG, which will liquefy the gas at a
facility in Mississippi before shipping it to Jamaica.
"The surplus of alumina in the
Atlantic region requires us to focus on the cost control.
Shifting steam production to gas will boost performance of our
Jamaican refineries as the steam generation forms a great part
of our cost of sales," first deputy chief executive officer
Vladislav Soloviev said in a statement.
"We expect that this
modernization will enable us to restart the idled Alpart and
Kirkvine refineries. We plan that alumina produced at these
facilities will feed our cutting-edge greenfield smelters in
Eastern Siberia, which are to start operations gradually in the
next several years," he said.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.