Nalco-GMDC unsure of size of Gujarat aluminium project

Business Standard - March 30th, 2013,

Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC)’s ambitious Rs 15,000-crore aluminium park in Kutch, Gujarat, is again staring at hurdles.
GMDC wants to set up a one-million-tonne alumina refinery and a 50,00,000-tonne aluminium smelter. However, its partner, National Aluminium Company (Nalco), is wary of the smelter, as converting alumina into aluminium requires mega power generation. On condition of anonymity, a senior Nalco official told Business Standard, “For the smelter, we put a condition in the bid that GMDC should arrange electricity at a rate of up to Rs 2.2 a unit. That is the viable power cost for any smelter. So, investment in the smelter is conditional. If they can arrange electricity at Rs 2.2 a unit, they have the smelter; if this is not possible for them to arrange, there would be no smelter.”
B L Bagra, director (finance) of Nalco, didn’t reply to queries.
If the two companies decide not to set up the smelter and, instead, go ahead only with the plans for the refinery, the project cost would be reduced to Rs 4,400 crore.
According to the tender GMDC floated, the company would supply bauxite, while the partner would account for all the investments to set up the refinery. However, now, GMDC is keen on picking up 26 per cent stake in the joint venture. In December, GMDC Chairman G S Gadhvi had told Business Standard the company might buy 26 per cent stake in the venture by using its internal accruals. If needed, it could even borrow some funds, he had added.
In April, a detailed project report would be presented to the Nalco board, which would decide on the company’s investment in the joint venture. The Nalco official said the company was keen on letting GMDC hold 26 per cent stake, as this would ease the monetary pressure on Nalco. In 2010, GMDC had floated tenders to find a partner. However, it had to extend the deadline twice, as it couldn’t find any takers. In November 2011, it finalised Nalco as a partner for the project.
Since then, the project’s progress has been at a snail’s pace.

NALCO inks MoU with Mines Ministry for higher production,sales

The Economic Times - March 26th, 2013,

BHUBANESWAR - National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO) has signed an agreement with the Union Ministry of Mines regarding physical and financial targets for 2013-14 financial year.
As per the Memorandum of Understanding signed yesterday in New Delhi between Union Mines secretary R H Khwaja and NALCO Chairman and Managing Director Ansuman Das, the sales turnover target has been fixed at Rs 7,757 crore, which is about 10 per cent higher than that of the current fiscal, a company release said.
As regards physical performance, NALCO has been given an annual production target of 64.50 lakh tonnes of bauxite, 21.5 lakh tonnes of alumina, 4.05 lakh tonnes of aluminium and power generation of 6341 million units, it said.
Among new projects, the proposed milestones would be a new alumina refinery in Gujarat, addition of a new stream of 10 lakh tonnes in the existing alumina refinery based on Pottangi bauxite deposit, NALCO's third wind power project at Damanjodi and the solar power project at any suitable location in the country.
Besides, the company has set targets for on-going Utkal-E coal mine project at Angul and upgradation of 4th stream of alumina refinery at Damanjodi.
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility activity, NALCO shall continue to provide free education to 250 tribal children of peripheral villages of Mines and Refinery complex at Damanjodi, the company said.

UAE’s Mulk Holdings To Build $10m Aluminium Plant In India

Gulf Business - March 26th, 2013,

UAE-based Mulk Holdings has commissioned a $10 million plant to manufacture Alubond Composite Panels (ACP) in the Indian city of Mumbai.
Spread over 10 acres, the plant will primarily serve the growing Indian construction market, the company said in a statement.
The $10 million investment marks the development of the first phase of the plant, which will have a production capacity of one million square meters of composite panels per year when complete.
The plant has hired 35 professionals so far, and when fully operational, the overall project is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs in India.
The move is part of a Dhs300 million ($ 81.7 million) expansion plan initiated by the UAE-based conglomerate in 2011, that will see the company spread its footprint across Asia, Europe and Africa.
Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk, chairman of Mulk Holdings said: “Despite the challenging economic situation, we are still expanding our business. We are investing in seven manufacturing plants in India, Serbia, the UAE and other parts of the world, with a total investment outlay of around $210 million in the next three years.”
According to Frost & Sullivan, the ACP market in India is rapidly growing, with the domestic sector witnessing a rise of about 25 per cent year-on-year.
“This robust growth is mainly driven by the revolution brought in by the IT companies in architectural aesthetics of their buildings,” said S Venkatesan, director, Metals and Minerals Practice at Frost & Sullivan.
“They have rapidly become one of the emerging alternatives for exterior emulsions principally in commercial construction.”
The investment in India will help Mulk capture the local market base and improve its net revenue realisation because of the low cost of production in India, he stated.
“Additionally, they will be able to assist their Indian clients through just in time deliveries providing cost benefits along with establishing new accounts in India,” Venkatesan added.

Angola still interested in bauxite exploration in Guinea Bissau

Macauhub - March 22nd, 2013,

Angola’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Georges Chicoti said Thursday in Luanda that Angola was still interested in bauxite exploration in Guinea Bissau, but for that to happen there would need to be “a climate of peace.”
Chicoti was reacting to recent accusations from the Guinea Bissau government that Bauxite Angola, the Angolan company that had planned to explore bauxite (the ore from which aluminium is produced) in the East of Guinea Bissau, had done nothing since it signed an exploration contract seven years ago.
The accusations made by the mining resources minister of the transitional Guinea Bissau government, Daniel Gomes also included that Bauxite Angola had yet to present environmental impact and economic viability studies as outlined in the contract.

BPE Reverses Sale Of ALSCON

Channels - March 19th, 2013,

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has cancelled the sale of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) to US-based BFI Group Corporation.
In a statement by its head, public communications, Chigbo Anichebe, BPE said the directive to terminate the offer to BFI Group Corporation for the purchase of 77.5 per cent of ALSCON is from the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).
The statement explained that the decision followed BFIG’s inability to pay the agreed 10 per cent of the offer price within the stipulated 15 working days of the execution of the share/sales purchase agreement as directed by the supreme court of Nigeria.
However BFIG’s chairman, Reuben Jaja, reportedly said that the cancellation of the sale was a violation of the July 6, 2012 order of the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had granted perpetual injunction restraining any act by any agency of government against the contract until all the issues that resulted in the crisis are resolved.

Qatalum and Hydro unveil aluminium research facility

The Peninsula - March 19th, 2013,

DOHA - Qatalum and Hydro — the Norwegian aluminium producer — yesterday unveiled Hydro’s newly established facility dedicated to researching and testing aluminium used in curtain wall solutions (facade) in support of creating energy, emission and carbon neutral buildings in the Middle East. The ‘Zero Energy and Emission Building’ lab is located on site at the Qatalum smelter (Mesaieed) and was officially opened by Hilde Merete Aasheim, the Vice Chairman of Qatalum and the Executive Vice President of Hydro. Present were Qatalum CEO Tom Petter Johansen and Qatalum Deputy CEO Khalid Laram.
Aasheim said: “Today, around 40 percent of the world’s energy consumption is related to operate buildings, especially to cooling and heating of the buildings we work and live in. Hydro has delivered solutions in aluminium to a large number of energy-efficient and energy-positive buildings. If by using various devices the temperature inside the room can be lowered by one degree Celsius, then a saving of 5-10 percent in terms of energy used for air conditioning can be realised. Delivering such solutions requires high competence, and the solutions will to a large degree depend on the climate where you are.”
The inauguration ceremony continued at Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), where Hydro and Qatalum have established a Technology Centre. A seminar was organised at QSTP with key speakers from the aluminium industry.
Opening the event at QSTP, Dr Chris Devadas, Head of the Technology Centre, welcomed the delegates and highlighted the research and technology undertaken at this centre.
Underscoring the importance of Hydro and Qatalum in driving research and bringing international best practice to the region, Devadas argued that Hydro Technology Centre “will build competence and cooperation with other institutions in Qatar in important areas that impact the global climate”.
“Research will be conducted to make assessments of the impact of the Middle East climate on building envelopes and how building envelopes can be developed to influence the long term sustainability of buildings. The ‘Zero Energy Emission’ facilities will enable us to provide environmentally sustainable products and knowledge on options for building design and layout,” he said.
Johansen also made a presentation on the role of aluminium as a part of the solution to climate change: “A zero energy building is a building with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. While no such building currently exists in Qatar, the potential to achieve this is great.”
He added: “The zero energy goal is becoming more practical as the costs of alternative energy technologies decrease and the costs of traditional fossil fuels increase.”
Johansen gave various examples of how aluminium has been used to provide elegant solution to the complex and urgent issue of climate change. Jean-Marc Luvisutto, General Manager of Technal Middle East said: “In Europe, Hydro already supplies aluminium solutions to reduce energy consumption by implementing smart facade systems, which can significantly reduce the need for heating or cooling.

RUSAL to halt Nigerian smelter

Business Report - March 15th, 2013,

Moscow - RUSAL, the world's largest primary aluminium producer, decided to suspend operations at its Alscon smelter in Nigeria because of concerns about gas supplies, it said on Friday.
The Russian firm said the smelter would be suspended from the end of April, having produced 22,000 tonnes of aluminium in 2012, around 88 percent less than its maximum annual capacity.
“Today, despite all measures undertaken by the company, ALSCON does not have a reliable and continuous gas supply,” RUSAL said in a statement.
“Aluminium production at the plant is deeply loss-making, which renders it impossible to fully utilise the existing capacities.”
The company owns 85 percent of Alscon, one of its key African assets, while the remaining stake belongs to the Nigerian government which challenged RUSAL's ownership in 2012.

Russia: UC Rusal cuts capacity by 300kt

Aluminium International Today - March 13th, 2013,

UC Rusal, billed as the world's largest producer of primary aluminium, has announced that it will be cutting production at its less efficient smelters by 300kt by the end of 2013.
The planned cuts, which have now been approved by Rusal's board, are designed to maintain the company’s competitive position in the global marketplace as the current overcapacity, high power tariffs and depressed metal prices kick in.
Rusal claims that the production cuts will not 'deteriorate the social environment and quality of life in these regions', referring to the locations where the cuts will be made. In fact, the company will be addressing 'employment solutions' for all affected workers just as soon as the cuts programme has been ratified by the necessary governmental bodies involved.
All employees working in the affected smelters will be offered alternative employment and that will mean either alternative jobs at their current location, complete retraining within an employment programme, positions at other plants within the Group or the chance to relocate to other regions and work on new greenfield projects currently under construction in Siberia – where there is a high demand for qualified workers.
Oleg Deripaska, CEO of RUSAL, said that the current global situation at the moment means that aluminium producers need to adopt a ration approach in terms of utilising existing capacity and commissioning new plants.
He said that the oversupply crisis was never completed addressed by Rusal and now it is necessary for the company to make these cuts before the year-end.

Guinea Bissau bauxite deposits remain unexplored

Mining Review - March 13th, 2013,

Bissau - Bauxite Angola, the Angolan company that has undertaken to explore bauxite deposits in the East of Guinea Bissau, has done no exploration since it signed an exploration contract seven years ago.
Interviewed by public television, minister for natural resources Daniel Gomes said that Bauxite Angola had yet to present environmental impact and economic viability studies, according to Portuguese news agency Lusa.
Macauhub News Agency quotes Lusa as saying that the minister made the statement at a time when the Guinean public prosecutor had said that the contract signed between Guinea Bissau and Bauxite Angola, in 2007, was not in line with legislation and could therefore be cancelled.
The minister added that Bauxite Angola had yet to respond to the Guinean proposal to restructure shareholdings, with Guinea Bissau holding onto 85%, rather than the current 10%, and Bauxite Angola taking 15% (it currently has 90%).
Daniel Gomes also said that Bauxite Angola had not outlined its exploration area, which was a requirement given that deposits are in an area bordering Guinea Conakry.

China Aluminum Output at Record in January on Capacity Additions

Bloomberg - March 12th, 2013,

Aluminum production in China, the biggest producer and user, climbed to a record in January on capacity additions, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed today.
Production was 1.78 million metric tons in January, according to Bloomberg calculations based on the data. The figure exceeded the previous record of 1.75 million tons in August, said Zhang Chenguang, an analyst at SMM Information & Technology Co. The bureau doesn’t release January output data alone and may revise previous data without disclosure.
Rising output will probably weigh on prices and force higher-cost smelters to cut output, affecting their earnings. Inventories tallied by the Shanghai Futures Exchange expanded to 492,267 tons last week, the highest since November 2010, as those in major trading hubs climbed to a record in February.
“The additions of new capacity far exceeded the output cuts,” said SMM’s Zhang from Shanghai. “We’ll probably see further output constraints later this year.”
Output in the first two months jumped 15 percent from a year ago to 3.51 million tons, while February output was 1.73 million tons, the bureau said in an e-mailed statement.
China Power Investment Corp., the nation’s second-largest producer, will eliminate 200,000 tons to 300,000 tons of obsolete capacity, and has no plan to add more, President Lu Qizhou said on March 6. Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., or Chalco, said in January it will report a “substantial” loss for 2012 on falling prices.

Alba's production growth under spotlight in key international conferences

Zawya - March 11th, 2013,

Alba took part in the 12th Annual Petcoke Conference that took place on March 1 and 2, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas, United States Alba presented a paper at the TMS 2013 Annual Meeting and Exhibition that was held from March 3 to 7, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas, United States "Production Growth and Future Challenges in Alba" was the title of the paper presentation by Chief Operations Officer, Isa Al Ansari, Senior Manager for Process Control & Development, Avinash C. Mittal and Manager for Reduction Line 1 - 3, Abdulla Habib.
Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba)'s participation in two of North America's leading trade fairs for the metals industry highlights the company's commitment to raise its profile globally, to establish firmer links with industry peers, to share its experiences, and to learn of new trends, developments and innovations.
A high level team from Alba led by the Chief Operations Officer, Isa Al Ansari attended the two conferences that took place in San Antonio, Texas, United States.
The first conference was the 12th Annual Petcoke Conference that was organised under the theme "Stepping out of the Shadows" and took place on March 1 and 2, 2013.
At The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) 2013 Annual Meeting and Exhibition that was held from March 3 to 7, "Production Growth and Future Challenges in Alba" was the title of a paper presentation by Chief Operations Officer, Isa Al Ansari, Senior Manager for Process Control & Development, Avinash C. Mittal and Manager of Reduction Lines 1 -3, Abdulla Habib, and. The paper highlighted some of the milestone expansion projects in Alba's 40 year history, discussed production growth and capacity increase, focused on some of the major modifications and performance enhancement initiatives taken at the plant, and lastly, looked at some of the challenges facing the company in the immediate future.
Commenting on Alba's participation in the two conferences, the company's Chief Operations Officer, Isa Al Ansari said: "Alba is poised for further growth and measures have already been put into place to exponentially increase its capacity and set the company on the road towards increased profitability. The paper presentation provided an insight into Alba's experiences in meeting this goal and also highlighted the challenges the company will face in the future. Participation in such international events provides Alba with the opportunity to share and learn from others and also contribute to the knowledge curve."
Each year the TMS Conference brings together materials and engineering professionals from more than 100 countries to network, presents research papers, shares industrial applications and introduce innovation.
The 12th Annual Petcoke Conference was organised by Jacobs Consultancy's Carbon Group. With a 30 year legacy behind it, the Carbon Group focuses primarily on studies and research involving petcoke, coal tar pitch, and other carbon products that address key issues that are important to clients in the cement, power, paper, aluminium, chemical, calcining, refining, lime, steel, trading, banking, and terminaling industries.

Rusal drops plan for Guinea aluminum smelter – govt source

Engineering News - March 8th, 2013,

Russian aluminum giant Rusal has quietly abandoned plans for a multibillion-dollar aluminum smelter in Guinea, according to a government source and documents seen by Reuters on Thursday.
Rusal is trimming its output in the face of weak prices and rising power costs. Its decision adds to a string of vanishing investment plans in the impoverished and restive West African state.
"I think this is the pragmatic option," a government source who spoke on condition of anonymity said, adding that a new smelter would "require lots of energy that Guinea cannot provide."
Rusal, which already controls bauxite mining developments and an alumina refinery in Guinea, had been considering a 240,000 tonne-per-year smelter that experts estimate would have cost well over $5 billion.
A development agreement for the Dian Dian bauxite deposit signed in 2001 committed Rusal to complete a feasibility study for the smelter by 2013. But all mention of the smelter was removed from the agreement in an amendment signed in December 2012 and ratified by the government this week.
The new agreement also removes mention of a planned 117 km (70 miles) railway for shipment to a coastal port.
A Rusal official confirmed the current development plan for Dian Dian does not include a smelter but declined to elaborate. He also declined to acknowledge that a smelter plan existed.
Aluminium will be in surplus this year and next, with analysts polled by Reuters forecasting supply exceeding demand by 687,455 tonnes this year and 747,000 tonnes in 2014.
Mining heavyweights Vale and BHP Billiton have also reduced investment plans in Guinea.
The new development agreement outlines previously published plans to start 3 million tonnes per year of bauxite production from the Dian Dian mine by the end of 2015. It contains plans for an associated refinery for intermediate product alumina, with a capacity of 1.2 million tonnes.
Output from Dian Dian would then rise to 6 million tonnes per year by the end of 2019, with the alumina refinery coming online over the same period, according to the plan.
It adds that RUSAL will conduct a feasibility study on a possible mine output increase to between 9 million and 12 million tonnes per year, which would help cover Guinea's export requirements.
Dian Dian is the world's richest bauxite reserve, containing some 550 million tonnes of the ore with an estimated alumina concentration of 58 percent.

Our two aluminium projects are on track in Odisha: Birla

Business Standard - March 7th, 2013,

Though the fate of mega projects of Vedanta, Posco and ArcelorMittal is uncertain in Odisha, Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla today said two of his company's aluminium projects in the state were "on track".
"Our two aluminium projects in Odisha are more or less on the track," Birla told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik this evening.
Claiming that they do not have any problem in the state, Birla said "we discussed with the Chief Minister small issues. The state government has been very responsive and responding quickly."
Birla said he apprised the Chief Minister of the progress made on the two aluminium projects.
Asked about Essel Mining, Birla said "I have not come here to discuss on Essel Mining. I think we will have to wait for the Justice Shah Commission's report."
Naveen Patnaik said "Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla came to see me with his officials and we reviewed the projects. They are coming up with very important and big projects in the state.

UPDATE 1-Norsk Hydro may build new aluminium plant in Norway

Reuters - March 7th, 2013,

OSLO - Norwegian aluminium maker Norsk Hydro said on Thursday it may build a new test plant at its site in Karmoey in western Norway with a capacity of 70,000 tonnes per year.
If built, the firm plans to test new, more energy-efficient production technology at the plant.
It said conditions for producing the metal in hydropower-rich Norway, where Hydro has four fully-owned plants and one part-owned, had improved in recent years, in part thanks to a new government CO2 cost compensation scheme.
The investment would not take away Hydro's focus from its flagship installation in Qatar, the joint-venture Qatalum plant, where it has an option to expand capacity, Hydro spokeswoman Inger Sethov said.
"This doesn't change our strategy, our foreign assets will be as important as our Norwegian ones," Sethov said. "The change is that we see there will be a power oversupply in the Nordic region in the future."
Aluminium production depends heavily on power and the new technology Hydro aims to test has a potential for "substantially" reducing power consumption as well as CO2 emissions, Sethov said.
The plans are still at an early stage and there is no estimate for how much it would cost, she added. The investment would depend on major support from state energy agency Enova, and no investment decision has been made yet.
If built, Hydro could tap the first metal at the plant in 2017 at the earliest, Sethov said.
"At the moment, there is overproduction and inventories of aluminium are large. Any investment in new capacity will obviously be an element in evaluating of profitability and market balance," Hydro's Chief Executive Richard Brandtaeg said in a statement.

Weather affects mining

The Fiji Times - March 6th, 2013,

THE adverse weather conditions in Vanua Levu have affected bauxite mining operations at Nawailevu in Bua. Bauxite mine manager Basilio Vanuaca said operations had come to a standstill as a result of the bad weather experienced in the Northern Division. "We will resume normal operations during fine weather," he said.
Mr Vanuaca also confirmed that logging works for their timber mill in Savusavu would begin next month.

UAE smelters set for big Texas show

Trade Arabia - March 3rd, 2013,

The UAE’s two primary aluminium smelters – Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) and Emirates Aluminium (Emal) – will be showcasing its key technology and present technical papers at the TMS annual meeting and exhibition (TMS 2013) in Texas.
The duo's participation is a clear demonstration of the UAE aluminium industry’s technology development expertise, said a senior official.
Senior executives from Dubal will present six technical papers at TMS 2013, all of which will also be published in Light Metals 2013.
The titles and topics of the presentations are as follows:
*Improving anode baked density and air permeability through process optimization and coke blending
*Potline modernization at Dubal
*A study of low voltage Perfluorocarbon (PFC) emissions at Dubal
*Advancements of Dubal high amperage reduction cell technologies
*Mathematical model validation of aluminium electrolysis cells
*Reduction in HF emission through improvement in operational practices
Emal on its part will also present two papers including Effect of watering and non-watering cooling rates on the mechanical properties of an aluminium smelter’s potshell and Mathematical model of cooling of a stopped pot and its validation.
Dubal and Emal will have a joint stand at the exhibition component of TMS 2013.
In keeping with the companies’ commitment to and proven progress through technological innovations, the key messages projected across all media, including the exhibition graphics and collaterals, will highlight the specific benefits offered by Dubal’s reduction cell technologies, two of which have been licensed to Emal.
Abdulla Kalban the president & CEO of Dubal and vice chairman of Emal said the annual TMS meetings offer a strong and credible forum for sharing technology-related information with a broad audience representing diverse stakeholder groups.
"Accordingly, Dubal has participated in these events for many years mainly to raise awareness in the industry that it is much more than a producer of primary aluminium. To the contrary, Dubal is also a developer of superior technologies based on thorough and on-going research into process and system improvements," he stated.
Kalban said the best-in-class performances offered by Dubal’s DX/DX+ and D18+ technologies have already attracted interest in the marketplace, leading to technology licensing agreements.
"Indeed, 756 DX Technology cells are operational at Emal Phase I and DX+ Technology has been licensed to Emal Phase II (444-cells), he explained.
"Also, Aluminium Bahrain has selected DX+ Technology for its Line 6 Bankable Feasibility Study. Our trend towards technology development and transfer is an important element of Dubal’s overall sustainability strategy," he added.

Ke Ga Port project causes many implications!

Vietnam Net Bridge - March 2nd, 2013,

The Prime Minister recently asked to stop construction of the Ke Ga Port, in Ham Thuan Nam district, Binh Thuan province in central Vietnam. In fact, when the project was introduced by the Vietnam Coal and Mineral Group (Vinacomin) a couple of years ago, many experts did not support it.
Ke Ga port is designed to serve the transportation of alumina of Tan Rai and Nhan Co bauxite processing factories. This project was approved by the government in 2009.
According to the approved plan, the port is built in Tan Thanh commune, Ham Thuan Nam district, Binh Thuan province, with a total area of about 366 hectares of both land and water area.
The construction is divided into four stages, with the handling capacity of 3.5 million tons of alumina per year after two years of construction and 35 million tons per year in 2020. The total investment is estimated at more than VND20 trillion (over $1 billion).
According to the project investor – Vinacomin, "The Ke Ga Port will help shorten the road, reduce freight costs of aluminum projects in particular and create a foundation for economic growth for the Central Highlands and the South Central region."
But Vinacomin has unexpectedly announced to cancel this project, reasoning that the output of alumina of the Tan Rai and Nhan Co bauxite factories is low so it is unnecessary to build the deep water port of Ke Ga.
A Vinacomin’s senior official said that the alumina output of Tan Rai and Nhan Co pants is only about 600,000 tons per year, while the handling capacity of the Ke Ga Port is up to 35 million tons.
He added that alumina will be transported via the Go Dau Port in Dong Nai. In addition, Binh Thuan is building the Vinh Tan port as an alternative.
Vinacomin said project investment costs were not large because Ke Ga Port has not been started. "Ke Ga Port project just stops at the pre-feasibility study so the cost is modest," the official said.
Big waste To implement this project, Binh Thuan authorities has decided to revoke land of and cancel 12 tourism projects within the port boundaries.
In addition, a company hired 14ha of land in Ham Thuan Nam district to build an ICD warehouse worth over VND260 billion ($13 million) to serve the port.
The Binh Thuan authorities also developed the Ke Ga Industrial Park project on 422ha. The project was licensed to Rang Dong Group. On February 20, Rang Dong Group’s officials said that two months ago, this firm withdrew from this project because they realized that it is ineffective.
Mr. Nguyen Van Thu, former Vice Chair of Binh Thuan province, said that, who spent nearly five years following Vinacomin’s Ke Ga Port project, said in the past few years, Binh Thuan has lost too many opportunities because of looking forward to this seaport project.

UAE aluminium industry's technical expertise and strong R&D capabilities promoted at TMS 2013'

Zawya - March 1st, 2013,

United Arab Emirates - In a clear demonstration of the UAE aluminium industry's technology development expertise, the country's two primary aluminium smelters - Dubai Aluminium ("DUBAL") and Emirates Aluminium ("EMAL") - will participate in the industry platform offered by the TMS Annual Meeting and Exhibition ("TMS 2013"). Held this year in San Antonio, Texas, USA from 3 to 7 March, the focus of TMS 2013 is again on providing materials science and engineering professionals the opportunity to network, present research, share industrial applications and introduce innovation -- the aim being to leverage synergies that will progress research and development activities towards applications that offer global solutions.
With this in mind, senior executives from DUBAL will present six technical papers at TMS 2013, all of which will also be published in Light Metals 2013. The titles and topics of the presentations are as follows:
1. "Improving anode baked density and air permeability through process optimization and coke blending" - Over the years, DUBAL has continuously increased aluminium production through improved cell technology and optimizing cell performance at higher amperage. High baked anode density and low air permeability are key anode characteristics that impact anode performance in the reduction cell. The DUBAL Carbon Plant has implemented a 3-year strategic roadmap to improve these factors through process optimization and raw material blending.
2. "Potline modernization at DUBAL" - DUBAL commenced operations in 1979 with three potlines, which have been constantly improved over time to increase their efficiency and productive output (amperage has increased from 150 kA to 202 kA). To further progress the original potlines, DUBAL has conducted a pilot project to completely revise and modernize the cell technology. Designated D18+, the new in-house design incorporates the latest cell technology such as magnetic compensation and proper point feeders within the existing footprint of the original D18 potline infrastructure.
3. "A study of low voltage PFC emissions at DUBAL" - Perfluorocarbon ("PFC") emissions arise from a phenomenon called anode effect ("AE"), when normal electrolysis ceases due to lack of alumina and another reaction takes place, which generates PFCs. AEs are characterized in the aluminium industry by measuring their frequency and duration when the cell voltage is above 8 volts. Industry-wide efforts have targeted reduced AE frequency and duration leading to considerable reductions in PFC emissions. However, recent independent measurements reported sources of "non AE-related" PFC emissions. This study forms part of a programme initiated at DUBAL to identify the possible mechanism for "non AE-related" PFC emissions and develop new logics for treating it.
4. "Advancements of DUBAL high amperage reduction cell technologies" - In the last ten years, DUBAL has successfully developed proprietary high amperage DX and DX+ cell technologies that demonstrate excellent performance. 40 DX demonstration cells at DUBAL currently operate at 385 kA and five DUBAL DX+ demonstration cells have operated at 440 kA since March 2012. Following commissioning of a sixth rectiformer, the amperage of the DX cells in EMAL potlines 1 and 2 has increased to 380 kA. EMAL Potline 3, currently under construction will have 444 DX+ cells with a potline voltage of 2000 V. This paper, authored jointly by DUBAL and EMAL highlights further development, which are targeting lower energy consumption, PFC emissions and capital expenditure.
5. "Mathematical model validation of aluminium electrolysis cells" - DUBAL has developed in-depth mathematical modeling capability for aluminium electrolysis cells, based on commercial software, comprising thermo-electric, MHD and mechanical models of cells plus CFD models of gas extraction from cells and potroom ventilation. To validate these models, a measurement programme was initiated, involving continuous monitoring of cathode lining and potshell temperatures, busbar temperatures and busbar currents on selected DX and DX+ cells. Other measures included cell voltage breakdown, heat fluxes, freeze profiles, current distribution, magnetic fields, metal velocities, potshell deformation and cell gas exhaust flow rate.
6. "Reduction in HF emission through improvement in operational practices" - In a prebake aluminium reduction cell, hydrogen fluoride ("HF") is generated through the continuous electrochemical oxidation of the hydrogen entrapped in the carbon anode matrix, and emitted. Additionally, the presence of moisture content in alumina, or electrochemical generation in anodes, leads to HF formation. Emissions are known to have an adverse impact on human and urban environment. Hence, DUBAL adheres to strict performance standards to reduce HF emissions via investment in high efficiency Fume Treatment Plants and revising operational job practices. This paper describes operational practice review initiatives in DUBAL's D20 technology potline that led to a reduction in roof HF emissions of 30% to 50%.
EMAL will also present two papers, the titles and topics of which are as follows:
1. "Effect of watering and non-watering cooling rates on the mechanical properties of an aluminium smelter's potshell" - This study focuses on the effect of different cooling rates on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the potshell material. To this effect, samples of potshell material were collected and ASTM standard specimens for mechanical and microstructural examinations were machined. Specimens were heated up to a maximum temperature of 500°C and then cooled at various rates ranging from that of free convection cooling to water quenching cooling. Tensile and micro-hardness tests were carried out to examine the effect of these cooling rates on the mechanical properties of the material. Microstructural analysis was carried out to study the microstructural response of the material to the various cooling techniques. The variation of the thermal and thermo gravimetric properties of the potshell material with temperature has also been measured.
2. "Mathematical model of cooling of a stopped pot and its validation - The aim of this study is to develop a heat transfer model of the aluminium reduction pot in a free convection and radiation environment. A commercial finite element code (FEM), ANSYS®, was used to create the 3D model and solve both the steady state and transient temperature distribution. All material properties and heat transfer coefficients were modelled as functions of temperature. The solidification of aluminium at its phase transformation temperature was included in the model to investigate the behaviour of the cooling curve of the various components of the pot during this phase change. The resulting cooling curves are in good agreement with experimental data (onsite measurements were made on a stopped DX pot in DUBAL). This model will be used to design an optimum pot cooling environment.
DUBAL and EMAL will have a joint stand at the exhibition component of TMS 2013. In keeping with the companies' commitment to and proven progress through technological innovations, the key messages projected across all media, including the exhibition graphics and collaterals, will highlight the specific benefits offered by DUBAL's reduction cell technologies, two of which have been licensed to EMAL.
Commenting on the two companies' involvement in TMS 2013, Abdulla Kalban (President & CEO of DUBAL and Vice Chairman of EMAL) says, "In our opinion, the annual TMS meetings offer a strong and credible forum for sharing technology-related information with a broad audience representing diverse stakeholder groups. Accordingly, DUBAL has participated in these events for many years - our primary objective being to raise awareness in the industry that DUBAL is much more than a producer of primary aluminium. To the contrary, DUBAL is also a developer of superior technologies based on thorough and on-going research into process and system improvements. Indeed, the best-in-class performances offered by DUBAL's DX/DX+ and D18+ technologies have already attracted interest in the marketplace, leading to technology licensing agreements. Indeed, 756 DX Technology cells are operational at EMAL Phase I and DX+ Technology has been licensed to EMAL Phase II (444-cells). Also, Aluminium Bahrain has selected DX+ Technology for its Line 6 Bankable Feasibility Study. Our trend towards technology development and transfer is an important element of DUBAL's overall sustainability strategy."