Case study:
$89 million pays environmental dividends
In 2007 Alcoa made an $89 million commitment to sustainability at the Point Henry Smelter in Australia.
The carbon bake upgrade was the biggest investment in Alcoa's Victorian operations for over 15 years and marks a milestone for the ongoing sustainability of the Point Henry operations.
The project involved extending the length of the furnace, removing 1000 truckloads of used refractory bricks, repairing the ‘tub’ which lines the furnace and laying new refractory bricks to form 384  individual baking pits that can each hold 18 anodes.
In addition, the fume treatment centre, called the carbon bake scrubber, was also upgraded and overall the upgrade will help maintain production levels and significantly improve environmental performance.
It is expected the project will decrease scrubber downtime, allow online maintenance, a higher draft capacity and a reduction in required cleaning from three times per year to once.
The successes of the project will be shared in the planned carbon bakes upgrade for the Portland Smelter.

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Technology advances and innovative investment gives existing operations a new lease on life and longer-term sustainability.