The Portland Aluminium Smelter is a joint venture between Alcoa, CITIC and Marubeni, with Alcoa managing the day to day operations of the smelter. Situated on just over 500 hectares of land just south of Portland, Victoria in south eastern Australia – Portland Aluminium is one of the most progressive and cleanest smelters in the world. It is also known as “The Smelter in the Park”.
The site, which began production in 1986, features an annual rated capacity of 358,000 tonnes of aluminium. The smelter has two potlines with eight rectifier units on each. Recently a strategic decision was made to embark on the upgrading of the rectifier control systems for the two potlines.
ABB was awarded the project due to extensive experience with high power rectifier systems.
ABB seized the technical opportunity to design and replace 16 new local control panels (LCP’s) of saturable reactor systems for the two potlines. The integration engineering for existing control functions was also provided together with alarms, trips and status as well as additional safety operations and indications.
The immediate challenge for the local ABB and Portland Aluminium teams was that they couldn’t find another smelter in the world with a similar physical configuration, thus ruling out the opportunity for any design reference solutions.
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ABB high power rectifier boosts performance_Alcoa Portland Aluminium Smelter.pdf