RUSAL, a leading global aluminum producer, announces the launch of an experimental reduction area at the Irkutsk Aluminum Works, which will operate under the EcoSoderberg technology. The total amount of investment in the project reached 540 million rubles.
Implementing EcoSoderberg technology is one of the priority retrofitting projects for RUSAL. New generation potcells have a significantly reduced environmental impact, and bring increased energy efficiency to aluminum smelters and automation for the majority of production processes.
The pilot production at the Irkutsk Aluminum Works includes four retrofitted potcells. Before the end of 2017, the number of modernized potcells will increase to six.
Victor Mann, Technical Director of UC RUSAL, commented: “Based on the results of the pilot project, we will decide on the time-frame of the modernization that will target all operating self-baking anode cells. In total, there are more than 500 of them at the smelter, which in the coming years will be upgraded.”
EcoSoderberg is a unique proprietary solution developed by the RUSAL’s Krasnoyarsk-based Engineering and Technology Center. The environmental effectiveness of the technology is due to its improved structural design and effective gas removal system.
As of today, over 60% of KrAZ capacities have been converted to the EcoSoderberg technology. Over the past three years, project investments have amounted to over 3 billion rubles. Retrofitting at KrAZ has resulted in a significant improvement in production efficiency and has reduced specific emissions of harmful substances: hydrogen fluoride emissions were reduced 1.5-fold, tarry substance was reduced 2.7-fold, and benzapyrene 2.5-fold. Re-fitting potcells to EcoSoderberg technology is now taking place at the Bratsk Aluminum Works (40 new generation cells have been installed). RUSAL is also planning to convert two potrooms at the Novokuznetsk Aluminum Works (NkAZ) to EcoSoderberg.
Introduction of the EcoSoderberg technology at IrkAZ is part of the integrated environmental initiatives ran by the smelter. Between 2016 and 2021, RUSAL will invest 5 billion rubles in a comprehensive retrofitting that will involve the modernization of the treatment facilities and redesign of the gas removal systems. (MetalInfo/Ukrainian metal)
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