Aluminium smelting is the process of extracting aluminium from its oxide alumina. Alumina is extracted from the ore Bauxite at an alumina refinery. The process of extracting aluminium from Alumina is an electrolytic process, so an aluminium smelter uses prodigious amounts of electricity. They tend to be located very close to large power stations, often hydro-electric ones, and near large alumina refineries where the alumina is produced. Others are situated along ports since a lot of them use imported alumina.
Largest Aluminium smelters:
Bratsk aluminium smelter is the largest producer of primary aluminium in the world. The smelter accounts for 30% of aluminium production in Russia and 4% of the world’s output. In 2007, it produced 995,000 tonnes of primary aluminium. This smelter is near the Bratks hydro elektric power station and uses a lot of the power coming from it. Russia also has the second largest smelter in the world located in Krasnoyarsk. The facility produced 989,000 tonnes of primary aluminium in 2007. The smelter accounts for 27% of aluminium production in Russia and for 3% of global output. It is located in the vicinity of the Krasnoyarsk Hydropower Plant and consumes approximately 70% of its energy. The pictures below were made in one of the Krasnoyarsk 26, 600 meters long, smelting "halls":
With a capacity of 872.000 tons of aluminium the factory in Manama in Bahrain is the world third biggest. The Hillside Aluminium factory in Richards Bay in South Africa has a capacity of 675.00 tons of aluminium per year and is therefore currently the fourth biggest in the world:
Aluminerie Alouette is the America’s largest aluminum smelter,and ranking fifth internationally. It is located in Sept-Iles in Canada and has a capacity of 572.000 million tonnes per year:
Among the biggest in the world are also the Boyne island smelter in Australia with a capacity of 545.000 tonnes per year, this smelter in Maputo in Mozambique with a production of 530.000 tonnes per year, this one in Australia in Tomago with a capacity of 520.000 tonnes per year. And this one in Tursunzoda in Tadsjikistan with also a capacity of 520.000 tonnes per year. You might wonder why China, which is the biggest producer of aluminium in the world, doesn't have a smelter among the biggest in the world. This is because china has a lot of smelters but none of them has a capacity of more then 400.000 tonnes per year. Their biggest is situated in Qingtongxia with a production of 385.000 per year. Although this may change very soon because China is planning a huge smelter in the city of Gganhzhou. Europe's biggest is in Sunndal in Norway with a capacity of 328,800 tonnes per year:
The biggest in the US is this smelter in Evansville in Indiana with a capacity of 309.000 tonnes per year.
Saturday, January 31, 2009