Emirates Global Aluminium has completed the commissioning of the calcination section of its Al Taweelah alumina refinery, which is currently under construction. Commissioning is the process of testing equipment and systems in a new plant before start-up. The completion of commissioning of the calcination section makes it the first of the four major sections of alumina refinery to be ready for production. First alumina is expected to be produced during the first half of 2019.
The Al Taweelah alumina refinery contains some 9,500 instruments, 222 tanks, enough piping to stretch from Abu Dhabi to Muscat, and cabling that would reach from Abu Dhabi to Cairo. Commissioning the entire plant requires some 82,500 separate actions to be completed. The calcination section alone contains more than 1,700 instruments and over 100 motors.
Once production is fully ramped-up, the Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to produce some 2m tpy of alumina and meet 40% of EGA’s alumina requirements, replacing some imports. The total budgeted project cost of Al Taweelah alumina refinery is USD3.3bn.
Calcination is the final stage in the Bayer process, which is used to refine bauxite ore into alumina. Calcination removes chemically bound water and temperatures in calciners can reach 1,000 °C. Al Taweelah is equipped with two calciners, designed and delivered by Outotec, which each have the capacity to produce 3,500 tonnes of alumina per day. The calciners are each 84 metres long, 46 metres high, and have stacks that reach 60 metres high.