27/10/2008 - 11:55

Alcoa wins award for processing plant

27/10/2008 - 11:55

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Alcoa's Kwinana refinery was awarded the minerals processing plant of the year at the annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards last week.

Alcoa's Kwinana refinery was awarded the minerals processing plant of the year at the annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards last week.

The Awards recognise excellence in the Australian mining industry, while the 'Minerals Processing Plant of the Year' award is presented to an organisation which has improved productivity, safety, and environmental standards or has reached notable milestones using new technology, innovative processes or techniques.

The Kwinana Refinery was recognised largely for its carbon capture technology which locks up significant amounts of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. The Kwinana plant has the capacity to lock up 70,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

"That's the equivalent of taking over 17,500 cars off the road," said TDG Residue Development Manager Dr David Cooling.

The Technology Delivery Group (TDG), Alcoa's global refining research and development group, based at Kwinana set a new world benchmark for the alumina industry with the creation of carbon capture.

"Through our membership of the Kwinana Industries Council we continue to contribute to research into how Kwinana industries can achieve 'waste' synergies by using each others' by-products - carbon capture is one of those ways," Dr Cooling said.

Alcoa's Kwinana Refinery locks up carbon dioxide from a nearby ammonia plant, demonstrating how industry can form sustainability partnerships to re-use waste products.

WA Residue Manager Allan Bermingham said: "We're investigating options for deployment of the technology across all three of our WA refineries, which could lead to carbon dioxide savings of 300,000 tonnes per year which is equivalent to taking 70,000 cars off the road."

Alcoa's WA Mining Group was also recognised at the Australian Mining Prospect Awards with a Highly Commended in the category of 'Innovative Mining Solutions'. Alcoa received the recognition for a bearing lifting jig which was developed by a group of employees from Mining's fixed plant department.

Manager of Mines, Bill Knight, said: "This is a great example of an engineering solution being applied to solve a safety challenge and demonstrates the creativity of solving problems at the source by the people who perform the work."

 

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