QUEBEC – This morning (Jan. 12), ALUMINERIE ALOUETTE began the vast start-up of its expansion project Phase II in the two new potrooms (C and D), each one housing 156 cells and measuring 1 km in length. The metal produced will be cast in the shape of low profile sows, a new industry norm.
The start-up of a cell can be divided into three principal stages: the preparation, the preheating and the start-up. Typically, the preheating and start-up operations take some 72 hours and proceed continuously. The projected start-up rate will be from one to two cells per day, seven days a week and this, non-stop until the last cell is up and running.
While the start-up of the cells is proceeding at one end of the potroom, construction workers will still be busy at the other end. Indeed, even now, nearly 1,000 workers are still working on the work site. The progressive start-up of the cells in the new C and D potrooms is thus underway and will be spread over a six- to eight-month period.
Alouette has been producing primary aluminum at Sept-Iles since 1992. With the completion of the Phase II expansion, annual production will jump to 550,000 tonnes from 245,000 tonnes. By 2006 it will be the largest aluminum smelter in the Americas. The $1.4-billion project included the new potrooms, expanded anode production and a new casthouse.
Photos of the Phase II project are posted at www.Alouette.qc.ca.