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Alba potline upgrade boosts output by 1,000T per year

Keywords: Tags  Alba, potline, AP technology, Isa Al Insari, Aluminum Bahrain, aluminum, Dubai Aluminium, Pechiney Jethro Wookey

LONDON — Aluminum Bahrain BSC (Alba) has increased aluminum production at its fifth potline by 1,000 tonnes per year via an upgrading to AP 37 technology, the company said June 9.

The upgrade became possible when Alba increased the line’s current to 370 kiloamperes, it said.

"In early 2011, the team outlined a roadmap on how to achieve 370 kA, which was done with Alba internal resources and without significant capital expenditure," chief operations officer Isa Al Ansari said in a statement.

"I am confident that this level of success will be reflected in future upgrades," he added.

AP technology is a type of pre-bake cell technology, of which there are many types being used in the aluminum industry.

"The upgrade will increase production by approximately 1,000 metric tonnes on an annual basis," the Askar, Bahrain-based company said.

AP 37, which allows for improved efficiencies that can boost production rates, was developed by Pechiney SA, the French aluminum conglomerate that was bought by Alcan Inc. in 2003 and subsequently absorbed by London-based Rio Tinto Plc in 2007.

Last December, Alba began a bankable feasibility study to determine the viability of a sixth potline, although it would use DX technology from Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based Dubai Aluminium Co. Ltd., rather than AP technology.

Alba produced 890,217 tonnes of aluminum in 2012, up from 881,310 tonnes in 2011.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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