Qatalum inaugurates state-of-the-art Pot Relining plant

US$44m facility will produce almost 300 pots per year by 2016

​Qatalum has inaugurated its state-of-the-art Pot Relining plant, following the project's successful and timely completion Wednesday 25th of June

The opening ceremony was attended by Hilde Merete Aasheim, Vice Chairperson to the Qatalum Board and Executive Vice President of Primary Metal at Hydro, together with Tom Petter Johansen, CEO of Qatalum and Hans Petter Lange, Reduction Manager.

Also present were Iain Dodds, Project Manager, representatives from Dutco McConnell Dowell (Qatar) LLC, the project contractor, Davy Fosen, Relining Plant Manager, and representatives from Staref, the relining service contractor.

At an overall cost of US$ 44 million, the Relining Plant Project has been considered a resounding success. The project was delivered on time, with no recordable injuries during the 1,205,961 man hours worked on site.

"I consider this a reflection of the overall quality of operations within Qatalum and an indicator of our ambitions to become a globally leading smelter," said Tom Petter Johansen, Qatalum's CEO.

Significant modifications to the Qatalum site had to be made in order to facilitate the relining facility. Commenting on these, Iain Dodds, Relining Project Manager, said: "Progress was at times challenging but ultimately the safe delivery of a high quality plant was always Qatalum's number one priority. I believe this plant is state-of-the-art, with the durability to last for several relining cycles at Qatalum".

Strong coordination between Qatalum and the contractor was required to complete the more critical and challenging stages in the construction of the largest project outside of the Smelter's construction.

Hans Petter Lange, Reduction Manager and owner of the relining process, said: "The oldest pots in the pot line are now approaching the end of their life. In order get through the extensive program of relining the 704 pots in our potlines during the next 3-4 years we are really happy to receive the state of the art facility on time, on cost and with excellent HSE results during the construction phase. We now look forward to take over the facility from project manager Iain Dodds and from the EPC contractor DMD and get started.

The new Relining facility will be owned by Qatalum and managed by Davy Fosen. Operations, however, it will be conducted by a service contractor. The Pot Relining Service Contract (2014-2019) has already been awarded to Staref, a joint venture between Aluref (South Africa) and STS Oman, and is valid for the relining of 704 pots. Staref management and a small team is already on site with the mobilization of personnel ongoing. During the contract period the service contractor will have up to 250 people on site, working 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. The contractor will in addition to the relining activities also be responsible for operation and maintenance of the Cathode Rodding Shop (CRS), and provide manpower supply to the Pot Start-up teams.