Manama, BAHRAIN, Sep 22, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) --Technology is driving growth at Dubai Aluminum's Jebel Ali smelter and will play a key role in optimizing output at the planned Emirates Aluminium smelter at Taweelah, a senior Dubal executive said Wednesday.
Speaking at Metal Bulletin's aluminum conference in Bahrain, Ali Mohamed Al Zarouni, vice president of smelter operations, said keeping up to date with technology is critical for smelters to meet changing environmental and energy consumption requirements.
"Developments in recent years have enabled Dubal to become a 1 million-metric-tons-a-year smelter with in-house developed technologies," Al Zarouni said.
Technology now needs to have low energy consumption as well as produce low emissions, he noted.
In the last quarter of 2005, Dubal commissioned five pots with the capacity to operate at 340 kiloamps. This then led to two major developments: the introduction of potline 8 with 40 pots in early 2008 and the use of the same technology at the Emirates Aluminium greenfield smelter in Abu Dhabi, which began its first phase of operations in December.
According to Al Zarouni, amperage at potline 8 has been stepped up from 340 kiloamps to 375 kiloamps currently, and the technology exists to boost this to 380 kiloamps. In July, amperage of 420 kiloamps was commissioned.
Emirates Aluminium is a joint venture between Dubal and Mubadala Development Company. The first phase of the smelter will see output of 750,000 tons a year, doubling to 1.5 million tons annually by the end of phase two, making it the fifth largest aluminum producer in the world.