World’s Largest Smelter to Have World’s Largest Turbines
When you run a giant aluminum smelter, you’ve got hundreds of pots full of molten metal moving through the plant at any given time. A disruption to the power supply can mean in-process metal begins to harden, and that can be costly. Reliable electricity, then, is critical.
So when Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) was looking for electricity generating technology to serve as a power source for an expansion that would make its plant the largest single-site smelter in the world, it selected a solution from GE that includes three giant HA gas turbines and software to maximize reliability and availability.
GE’s HA units are the world’s largest and most efficient heavy-duty gas turbines and the order marks the first time globally that one of these units will be used in an aluminum smelter, as well as the first H-class orders for GE in the Gulf region. The units also offer industry leading flexibility, allowing customers to maintain stable power production and to reliably accommodate demand variations through quick start up, rapid load changes and other features. This allows the HA to deliver reliable and flexible operations not just for large power plants and utilities but also for captive power plants or small grids.
Additionally, GE will provide three steam turbines and three high recovery steam generators (HRSGs) to Alba and has also signed a multiyear agreement (MYA) for a period of 16 years to provide operational and maintenance services.
Together, GE and GAMA, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner will oversee the design, engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of Alba’s Power Station 5, a facility capable of generating 1,792 megawatts.
Power Station 5 will also utilize GE’s Digital Power Plant software solutions, which have played a key role in unlocking the HA’s record-setting levels of efficiency. As well, these software solutions will help provide stability and uninterrupted power through predictive insights that can enable higher plant availability and reliability. The digital industrial solutions run on GE’s Predix, a cloud-based operating system designed for industry. These digital capabilities also increase the customers’ ability to run, adapt and manage the plant for improved outcomes.
Upon completion, Alba’s new sixth potline is expected to add 540,000 metric tons per annum (mtpa) to its current production, bringing its total production capacity to 1,500,000 mtpa.
GE has been supporting Bahrain’s power and energy infrastructure, and its broader economy, for more than 80 years. This includes a Customer Application Centre (CAC), one of eight global locations that also include Brazil, Italy, the United States, the UAE, Russia, China and Singapore.