new alumina project in 15 years
capacity increase in 2012
quartile energy user
- Rio Tinto wished to implement tube digestion technology at its Gladstone, Australia plant.
- This was the world’s first greenfield alumina plant to implement tube digestion technology on a large scale.
- The slurry-heating equipment was comprised of pipe-in-pipe rather than shell-and-tube heaters.
- The bauxite dissolution step was conducted in tube configuration rather than high-pressure autoclaves.
- The project scope covered feasibility studies, basic and detailed engineering, and commissioning services for the bauxite digestion and evaporation facilities, including design of the core proprietary jacketed-pipe-heater unit (JPU) and holding-tube technology.
- Partial preassemblies improved fabrication economics and eliminated much of the peripheral equipment that's often needed with conventional designs.
- Each JPU consisted of continuous, 60-metre-long “U” shape arrangements. Operationally, the new tube-heater design also greatly simplified cleaning.
- The 2012 expansion project added 143% to Yarwun’s initial capacity, with a new nameplate capacity of 3.4 MTPA.
- This was the largest implementation of tube digestion in a greenfield plant.
- The project was marked by a fast commissioning and ramp-up phase.
- The integrated execution team had a principal EPCM contractor, client-streamlined engineering, and procurement interfaces.
- Key project milestones were achieved.