Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba) officially announced the commissioning of its sixth potline on December 13th. The $3.5 billion Line 6 Expansion Project precedes the gradual ramp-up of 424 pots, which will make the company the largest single-site aluminum smelter in the world upon completion. The commissioning of Line 6 was completed ahead of its first hot metal milestone scheduled for January 1, 2019, making it the fastest construction completed in aluminum industry history.
The new potline has 424 pot cells, which use DX+ Ultra technology supplied by Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA). The technology will improve energy efficiency, which in turn will allow Alba to increase its metal production with no increase in overall energy consumption. Alba’s Line 6 Expansion Project is one of the largest brownfield developments in the region and is expected to boost the smelter’s production by 540,000 tonnes, bringing its total production capacity to 1.5 million tonnes per year.
Alba held a celebration to mark their achievement with key EGA officials as the guests of honor just in time to also celebrate Bahrain’s National Day (independence) on December 16th. Alba’s chairman, Shaikh Daij Al Khalifa expressed his appreciation to the Government of Bahrain for trusting the company to complete the landmark project, “Celebrating the commissioning of Potline 6 during the much awaited National Day celebration makes it all the more significant, as it will always be remembered.”
Alba selected Bechtel as the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contractor for the Line 6 Expansion project. Bechtel has worked with Alba for over 25 years, including previous work as EPCM contractor for the smelter’s Line 4 and 5 expansions. “We are also very pleased to have started the commissioning of Potline 6 safely ahead of schedule and for that I would like to thank Bechtel, our EPCM contractor,” said Al Khalifa.
“We are very proud of this achievement,” added Paige Wilson, Bechtel’s Mining and Metals Global Business Unit president. “The Alba Potline 6 project’s 24-month schedule to first hot metal, is six months faster than the industry standard. This is a world-class achievement for Bahrain, Alba and Bechtel. This success was only made possible thanks to the very strong collaborative relationship Alba and Bechtel have formed.”
Alba is constructing a new Power Station 5 and power distribution system, which will be used to supply energy for the Line 6 Project. As of November 30th, overall progress on the power station and power distribution system has exceeded 80% and 96% respectively.