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Bahrain's Alba crosses million-tonne production mark in 2018

Smelter's "breakthrough record" coincided with the major completion of its Line 6 Expansion scheme

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) has acheived a "breakthrough record" by exceeding its 2018 production target [image: Alba's Line 6 expansion project].
Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) has acheived a "breakthrough record" by exceeding its 2018 production target [image: Alba's Line 6 expansion project].

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) said it has exceeded its 2018 production target of 1,000,000 metric tonnes a year, describing the achievement as “a breakthrough record” for the aluminium giant.

Soon to be the largest smelter in the world, Alba said its 2018 production volume of 1,011,101 metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) year is the highest-ever achieved in its history – up 3% year-over-year compared to 2017’s annual figure of 981,016 metric tonnes.

This is the seventh year in a row that Alba has surpassed its annual production volumes. In 2012, the group achieved a production record of 890,217 metric tonnes a year – a figure that has increased steadily year-on-year.

READ: Alba fires up Bahrain's largest furnace within Line 6 expansion

A ceremony to mark its 2018 production milestone was held on 6 January, 2019 at Alba Oasis, attended by the company’s executive management, directors, managers, and employees from various departments.

Tim Murray, Alba’s chief executive officer, said passing the 1 million mpta production mark was “testament to [the smelter’s] dedicated workforce”.

He added: “We also look forward to successfully completing the commissioning of Line 6 in 2019, which will take our production capacity to 1,500,000 mpta and make Alba the largest smelter in the world.”

Late in December 2018, Alba said it had started operations on Casthouse 4 – the largest furnace in the kingdom-based aluminium smelter’s history.

READ: Bahrain's Alba signs Line 6 Expansion deal with Italy's Fluorsid

Part of Alba’s ambitious Line 6 Expansion Project, Casthouse 4 has a total design value-added capacity of 530,000 tonnes a year. Alba said the first cold-charge of Furnace 3 is a “significant part of the process of commissioning Casthouse 4, which is set to produce soon”.

US construction giant Bechtel worked as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) management contractor for Alba’s Line 6, with the GE and Gama consortium working as EPC contractors on the smelter’s Power Station 5, a crucial part of the wider Line 6 expansion.

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Construction Week - Issue 734
Mar 21, 2019