portland aluminium upgrade to help environment
A $100 million upgrade, significant to the ongoing sustainability of Portland Aluminium, is currently underway.
The Portland Bakes Upgrade will help maintain production levels and reduce emissions and gas consumption. It comes after a successful similar upgrade at our Point Henry smelter in Geelong that included almost $20M of projects with improved environmental outcomes.
Environmental monitoring results have since showed:
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) emissions reduced by 98%;
- Particulates & PM10 are now not detectable;
- Coal tar pitch volatiles (CTPV) reduced by 98%;
- Volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions reduced by 90%;
- Carbon monoxide emissions reduced by 70%; and
- Emissions of metals significantly reduced.
As part of the major upgrade, the furnace for baking anodes is being completely rebuilt, requiring some ten thousand tonnes of refractory to be demolished and replaced. A new furnace fume treatment centre is being constructed to meet stringent environmental requirements and a new modern technology furnace firing system is also being replaced to improve firing efficiency and reduce gas consumption.
The baked anodes are vital to the smelting process, with approximately 180,000 one tonne anodes consumed in the smelting pots each year.
The upgrade will assist in sustaining the smelter operation for years to come, as well as importantly reducing our environmental footprint through fewer emissions.
The Portland Aluminium Carbon Bake Upgrade is due to be completed by the end of this year.
alcoa forging forward with environmental improvements
Alcoa has reinforced its public commitment to environmental improvement through energy efficiency, productivity improvements and new technology.
Alcoa has released its second series of Environmental Improvement Plans (EIPs) in Western Australia, for its Kwinana Refinery, Pinjarra Refinery, Wagerup Refinery and the Mining Operations.
In 2006, Alcoa made Western Australian history when it released the first EIPs to be developed by industry in the State.
The 2008-09 EIPs set clear targets for environmental improvement and outline the actions which will be undertaken in order to achieve those targets.
Alcoa’s General Manager of Western Australian Operations, Simon Butterworth, said the targets and actions were developed through direct input from the communities in which Alcoa operates and are another example of Alcoa’s commitment to community engagement.
“Our EIPs have been endorsed by community representatives, as well as the Department of Industry and Resources and the Department of Environment and Conservation,” he said. “I think that says a lot about how our operations are run which is in a safe, sustainable, environmentally conscious manner.”
In the Department of Industry and Resources (DoIR) endorsement, it stated: “We applaud the engagement of community representatives and local and State Government stakeholders to ensure that programs developed are endorsed by community members and deliver real benefits to the local environment.
“In an era where local communities are demanding a greater understanding and more of a say in the regulation of the operations of large industries, Alcoa’s continued support for EIPs should encourage other organisations to engage with their local communities.
“The company’s decision acknowledges that increased community acceptance of industry requires ongoing and meaningful consultation, and government must also play its part.”
Alcoa’s 2008-09 EIPs are delivered voluntarily and many of the targets go beyond the requirements specified in Alcoa’s formal licence conditions. The EIPs cover:
- Air quality, including greenhouse gas and energy efficiency;
- Noise and waste management;
- Water conservation;
- Groundwater management;
- Land management, including visual amenity, rehabilitation and fauna/flora management;
- Community involvement; and
- Environmental regulation.
“External involvement and review against our EIPs will continue throughout the remainder of 2008 and 2009, providing a transparent process to measure Alcoa’s performance against our targets,” Mr Butterworth said.
The 2008-09 WA EIPs can be viewed online at www.alcoa.com.au/EIP. EIPs for our Victorian and NSW operations are progressing through community consultation and the regulatory approval process.
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