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Alumar Unit 2 project

Alumar Unit 2

Alumar (owned by Alcoa, BHP Billiton, and Rio Tinto Alcan) | Brazil | 2006–2009

20 million

hours worked with 0 LTIs, achieved twice

1.5 million tpa

more than doubling production capacity

Challenges

  • This expansion project upgraded the existing alumina production train and installed a new one in a location that typically receives over two meters of annual rainfall in a three-month period
  • The complexity of the project and difficulty of 3D design delivery required a global team of experts

Solutions

  • We were responsible for the engineering, procurement, and project-and-construction management.
  • An 1,800-tonne modularized ship unloader was barged from Argentina and installed on a dock exposed to a six-metre tide – a significant success that tested the boundaries of logistics
  • At the peak of construction, there were more than 10,000 workers on site, including approximately 150 Hatch staff members
  • The ease of commissioning, handover and ramp-up to production of the newly designed digestion, precipitation, evaporation, and heat-interchange department facilities enabled the total facility's quick ramp-up to production

Highlights

  • Received Brazilian National Safety Awards and Hatch Platinum Safety Award
  • Production ramp-up across the whole Alumar facility was of world-class performance, enabling the shut-down and transfer of existing production to the newly installed facilities ahead of schedule
  • Ramp-up into production for the Hatch-designed prototype Mark VII calciners was a significant achievement. This is now the benchmark calciner design for future Alcoa alumina refineries
  • The expansion increased the alumina capacity by 2.0 mtpa, making it the largest brownfield alumina-expansion project ever completed

"Above all, the expansion of this refinery symbolizes a new moment being experienced by Brazil's North/Northeast, in its march toward economic emancipation."

The Honorable Lula da Silva | President, Brazil

"We accomplished this expansion at competitive cost, employing local workers and suppliers and incorporating state-of-the-art technology, which places the Alumar alumina refinery as one of the lowest-cost refineries in the world."

Franklin L. Feder | President, Alcoa Latin America and Caribbean

Project numbers

80,000 m3 of concrete
35,000 t of steel
250,000 m of pipe
3.5 million m of cable into sustained operation
Over 4,000 successful tie-ins undertaken without a LTIs
US$3.1 billion
>600 person-project delivery team trained in 3D delivery
1,800 t modularized ship-unloader installed
10,000 workers on site at peak of construction

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