ABB helps Alunorte keep operational availability close to 100% since 1994, while increasing production capacity and maintaining high product quality.
The largest alumina refinery in the world
Alumina is a white powder obtained from bauxite ore through a chemical process. This alumina is the main raw material for aluminum production.
Alunorte refinery, in the Para state in Brazil, began its alumina production in 1994, with two lines and an installed capacity of 1.1 million ton per year, using ABB's MasterPiece control technology. By 2002 Alunorte has reached 1.6 million ton per year. A third line was added in 2003 and the MasterPiece technology was evolved to Advant control system for all the lines, producing 2.4 ton / year by 2004.
After a history of successes in the first three production lines, Alunorte trusted ABB to continue supplying automation systems to their process in its further expansion projects, that made it the largest alumina refinery in the world.
The lowest ramp-up time ever registered in the industry
The $800-million Phase III expansion project in 2006 consisted of two new production lines (Nos. 4 and 5) that significantly raised the capacity at the plant from 2.4 to 4.2 million tons of alumina a year. During that time the plant enhanced its control system by adding System 800xA Extended Automation platform. This award-winning automation solution equipped Alunorte with a unique capability to control, manage and optimize the plant’s thousands of field devices, regardless of manufacturer.
Working closely with Alunorte, ABB completed the commissioning of the system in just 20 weeks, enabling the two lines to go quickly onstream and reach full production speed in record time. Ramp up to full production usually takes several months, but the unique capability of System 800xA enabled it to be completed in an unprecedented 12 days.