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Dense Phase and Pot Cell Pneumatic Conveying Feed system and Pot Line structure Improvements and Repair

The Opportunity

As part of a new investment scheme in aluminium smelting at the Aldel Site, the client and investors made the decision to upgrade and reinstate pot line 1 to run in parallel with the currently operating potline 2, which would significantly increase aluminium output. Potline 1 had been mothballed for many years due to the reduced competitiveness of the site, therefore the resulting work to bring a section of 120 cells in that potline back into an operational state, represented a significant challenge to all.

Aldel awarded the contract to Power System Services to install and overhaul the dense phase feed
systems and the structures that regulate flow into the pots. This work involved the following key
elements which are fundamental to an automated smelting operation :

  • Manufacture and installation of new pipe inserts for dense phase flow.
  • Manufacture and installation of a combination of new and existing asset pipework.
  • Making good all joints and re-sealing.
  • Overhaul and modification of Turbo bin alumina feeds (2 per cell).
  • Removal of, inspection, overhaul and re-installation of feed bins.
  • Overhaul of crust breakers.
  • Overhaul of gearboxes and motors.
  • Manufacture of start-up conductors from aluminium.
  • Pneumatic control pipework.

The breadth of knowledge in- house at Power Systems, a good reference from previous contracts
with engineers at Aldel, plus the fact that Power System Services are familiar with aluminium
smelting facilities were key considerations in the client`s award criteria, coupled naturally with the
competitiveness of our offer.

The Solution

Power System Services deployed a well-trained team to site who had a wealth of experience in similar projects. The challenges faced were significant, not least because access and logistics to even get  equipment to the construction areas with other contractors needing to operate in the vicinity and of course the adjacent live smelter were very difficult. Nevertheless the works were phased in such a way that our works were executed on time, without any incidents and to a high quality of workmanship.

Power System Services were commended on;

  1. Attention to safety
  2. Quality of Workmanship
  3. Attention to detail and problem/ issue solving
  4. Site specific safety from the system considerations
  5. Prepared to work outside of usual working hours to accommodate others
  6. Timely execution of the works
  7. Team player
  8. Cooperation with other works as required

The Outcome

Power System Services as installation contractor on this project worked with the client with a common goal, helping develop specifications and inventory lists for maintenance and future needs, whilst understanding budget constraints.

The project was concluded safely, profitably, on time and to the specified standards. We took an active role in the design and buildability process throughout and assisted with other large scale projects on the same site whilst this contract was being undertaken, not least in the cast house and live potline 2.

References are available on request.

Dense Phase and Pot Cell Pneumatic Conveying Feed system and Pot Line structure Improvements and Repair Download