Qatalum, a joint venture by Qatar Petroleum and Hydro, will have a capacity in the first phase of 585,000 tonnes of primary aluminium annually, all to be shipped as value-added aluminium casthouse products. Currently Qatalum is producing over 630,000 tonnes of primary aluminium annually.
The highest standards
The project is designed to meet the highest environmental standards. Qatalum’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment was approved by Qatar’s Supreme Council for Environment and Natural Reserves (SCNER) in November 2006.
The Qatalum project is based on Hydro's electrolytic reduction cell technology, which was developed in-house. This technology gives a combination of low investment costs, high productivity, low energy consumption and reduced emissions.
Building on experience
HAL250 was the technology applied in Hydro's project at Sunndal, Norway. Qatalum has built on the experiences gained in Sunndal, at other Hydro plants, and the company’s technology development activities. Aluminium production takes place at 960°C and uses aggressive chemicals. This process is difficult to monitor using normal measurement methods and equipment, so Hydro has therefore developed a special microcomputer for process control.
The HAL275 technology to be used in Qatalum is an economical and environmental-friendly electrolytic reduction technology. A holistic approach, system knowledge, operational experience and advanced mathematical models have resulted in a compact and highly productive plant with a sound working environment. Highly efficient purification units will be installed. Due to the temperatures involved, there will also be a high degree of mechanization of operation.
Improved working environment
Hydro's technology development gives even greater consideration to local communities and the environment. This challenge has helped Hydro develop one of the most environmentally friendly and compact electrolytic reduction technologies in the world. The removal of process gases is an important factor for the protection of operators and for ensuring a clean working environment. The patented extraction system collects 99.5 percent of the gases from the process with optimal energy use. All fluoride is recycled.
The objective of the ongoing Qatalum Improvement Programme (QIP) is to
reduce the cost of aluminium production over the next 5 years, which would
place Qatalum within the top 5 smelters in the world on the CRU cost
curve. QIP is not a simple cost-cutting exercise, it is a way of
continuously improving Qatalum's working standards and practices to make them more
effective and efficient so that Qatalumcan “do more with less” without compromising
on safety or quality.
Qatalum Improvement Programme