Calcined Petroleum Coke (CPC) is the major raw material used to produce carbon anodes for the aluminium smelting process, while the raw coke - the Green Petroleum Coke (GPC) - is the product of the coker unit in a crude oil refinery and must possess sufficiently low metal content in order to be used as anode material.
The quality of CPC has a vital role in the quality and performance of anodes. It also has a bearing on the cost of metal production and the purity of metal.
The Alba’s Calciner Plant, commissioned in May 2001 and upgraded in 2004, has established superior standards of process capability to produce high-quality CPC.
AVERAGE YEARLY PRODUCTION550000MTPY
Anodes are carbon blocks used to conduct electrical energy during the process of producing primary aluminium. We have four computerised carbon plants that produce about 550,000 metric tonnes of anodes every year to ensure continuous and uninterrupted supply of high-quality replacement anodes.
Carbon anodes are produced from calcined petroleum coke and coal tar pitch. The coke is first crushed and segregated into size fractions then mixed to obtain the required anode quality. The dry mix is preheated then mixed with pitch to bind the coke particles into anode blocks.
The anode blocks are heated to 1,100 oC for 17 days in the baking kiln to improve their strength and electrical conductivity then transferred to the Rodding Room where they are fitted with an electricity conducting rod. Once in the cell, the carbon anodes are gradually consumed during what is known as the electrolytic process and are almost replaced every 28 days. The remains of these spent anodes, the butts, are then returned to the Rodding Room to be recycled.
Generating Capacity3665MW ISO
The aluminium smelting process is power intensive due to the electrolysis process. Alba is able to ensure self-sufficiency in meeting its extensive energy requirements through our three environmentally friendly power stations of a total combined power generating capacity of 3,665 MW ISO, which is equivalent to the average power consumed in the Kingdom of Bahrain as a whole.
Our power stations are equipped with state-of-the-art automatic control systems to operate the plants most efficiently, while maintaining the necessary spinning reserves. We also have an extensive power distribution network for supplying secure power to all areas within Alba as well as our own Reverse Osmosis plants to cater to Alba’s complete potable and industrial quality water requirements.
To optimise the natural gas consumption for power generation, we utilise the waste heat generated in the gas turbines in the form of exhaust gases. The heat from the exhaust gases is used to generate steam in boilers for producing additional electricity by using steam turbines. This combined cycle technology is very efficient and used extensively throughout the world.
While we generate the required power necessary for running the world’s largest aluminium smelter ex-China, we make a concerted effort to minimise pollution and help conserve Bahrain’s natural gas resources.
Production Capacity 13million CMPY
Most of the potable water in the Gulf region is produced through seawater desalination. This process utilises a vast amount of energy and plays a major role in contributing to the region’s carbon footprint.
The commissioning of the seawater desalination plant in 2001 as an integral component of Alba’s Calciner Plant underlines our pioneering role in sustainable and environmentally practices.
The energy we use in the aluminium production process is simultaneously employed in the water desalination process. The desalinated water is used in the cooling process. The steam that results from this process is then used to generate additional power that helps in saving valuable natural gas energy. This results in Alba producing potable water that is sold to Bahrain’s Electricity & Water Authority for general consumption in the Kingdom, and utilised for a variety of uses in and around the Company, including irrigating Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Oasis which spans over more than 130,000 square meters and features more than 15,000 trees, flowers, vegetables and shrubs.