Phylosophy of the Ikot Abasi Aluminium Smelter plant

Author: smith on 22-09-2013, 23:00, views: 2 398

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The philosophy of the Aluminium Smelter project is the exportation of the nation's abundant gas resources in embodied form to generate the much needed foreign exchange for the country. The smelter will utilise a substantial portion of gas: approximately a billion cubic metres annually, which is presently wastefully flared in the oil production industry, to generate economic energy for the production of aluminium, the bulk of which will be exported. The availability of relatively cheap energy, which constitutes a significant 30 per cent of the cost of the energy-intensive process of aluminium production, is expected to enhance the competitiveness of the aluminium smelter plant products on the international market.
 
ALSCON News, Vol. 1, 1994

The special properties of aluminium, the smelting technology available and the ready availability of abundant natural gas reserves, reinforced the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to proceed with the establishment of the Ikot Abasi Smelter Plant. The Government of Nigeria will by, operating the Smelter, utilize the nation's abundant gas resources to generate energy for aluminium production and in turn, will receive much needed foreign exchange by exporting a large portion of the ingots and billets. Indeed, the whole philosophy of the project is the exportation of gas in embodied form.

 

Another important objective of the aluminium smelter project is the supply of the basic raw materials (ingots and billets) to local aluminium rolling mills and extrusion plants. These raw materials are currently imported. The Smelter will help the Government to conserve foreign exchange in addition to supporting expansion of aluminium-processing activities in the country - from the rolling mills and extrusion plants to down-stream industries making finished products such as aluminium kitchen utensils, aluminium roofing sheets, deep freezers, van bodies, wires and cables, and wrapping materials to name a few.

 

The Ikot Abasi Smelter brings desperately needed employment to the region. Skilled workers are trained in mechanical and electrical skills needed during the construction of the plant as well as in occupations needed to run and maintain the smelter. The commissioning of the plant guarantees long term primary and secondary employment for thousands of workers from welders and electricians to doctors and teachers.

 

The plant is intended to reduce the waste in the petroleum industry not only by utilising the natural gas now being flared; but also by promoting backward integration through the eventual production of petroleum coke.

Category: The Ikot Abasi Smelter

 

The Beginning

Author: smith on 22-09-2013, 22:00, views: 2 822

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At the foundation stone laying ceremony on November 20, 1990: from left to right Mr, Roy Lee, Obong O.D. Etukafia, Dr. H. Beister, TataAskira, Mr. R. Reynolds, Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji (Chairman, ALSCON Board), Dr. H. Singer, Prof. I. C, I. Okafor, Dr. K. von Menges, High Chief Bola AdedipeAt the foundation stone laying ceremony on November 20, 1990: from left to right Mr, Roy Lee, Obong O.D. Etukafia, Dr. H. Beister, TataAskira, Mr. R. Reynolds, Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji (Chairman, ALSCON Board), Dr. H. Singer, Prof. I. C, I. Okafor, Dr. K. von Menges, High Chief Bola AdedipeIn pursuit of the plan to set-up an aluminium plant, the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, initiated talks with various interested bodies. Messrs. W. S. Atkins, a British firm, was commissioned to carry out a feasibility study on the project. With the change in government in 1983, discussions on the project were kept in abeyance until 1986 when the project was resuscitated by the Administration of General Ibrahim Babangida.

 

Thereafter, Ferrostaal AG of Germany, in conjunction with Reynolds International of the United States of America, submitted a joint proposal to the Federal Government for the establishment of an integrated 180,000-tonne per annum smelter plant. In response, the Government set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Industries to process the proposal.

 

A consortium of consultants comprising M+F Engineering Consultants - a Zurich-based aluminium consulting firm -as well as FINCO Engineers and Phoenix Investment Services, both of Nigeria, were engaged to assit the Inter-Ministerial Committee. The Government also appointed a four-man Presidential Task-Force to finalize the articulation of the project and submit recommendations to the Government. The Task-Force comprised Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji (Chairman), Mallam Ibrahim Aliu, who was then Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industries, Aret Adams, then the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and C. C. Okoye, then Director in the Ministry of Budget and Planning. Mr. Okoye, currently ALSCON's Deputy General Manager (Planning and Administration), also coordinated the preparation of this book.

 

Category: The Ikot Abasi Smelter

 

International Project

Author: smith on 22-09-2013, 21:00, views: 2 101

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Chief E. Shonekan (on the right), then Chairman of the Interim National Government on a visit to the site in August 1993. On the left A.V.M. Nura Iman (rtd.), former Minister of Power and Steel and Chairman of ALSCONChief E. Shonekan (on the right), then Chairman of the Interim National Government on a visit to the site in August 1993. On the left A.V.M. Nura Iman (rtd.), former Minister of Power and Steel and Chairman of ALSCONThe Smelter is a joint project between the Federal Government of Nigeria and two foreign technical participants: Ferrostaal AG of Germany and Reynolds International Inc. of the United States of America. The Federal Government holds 70 % of the total equity shares; Ferrostaal has 20 %, and Reynolds 10%.

 

Ferrostaal is the Turnkey Contractor; Reynolds is supplying the aluminum technology and know-how, while EMS, with assistance from Reynolds, will manage the plant from start-up until the Nigerian management takes over.

Category: The Ikot Abasi Smelter

 

Ferrostaal - The Trusted Partner Worldwide

Author: smith on 22-09-2013, 20:00, views: 2 412

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Ferrostaal - The Trusted Partner WorldwideFerrostaal AG, with headquarters located in Essen in the Ruhr Valley, the industrial heart of Germany, was founded in 1921 as a Dutch steel-trading arm of Gutehoffnungshutte Aktienverein (GHH), a predecessor of what is known today as the MAN Group. It has since grown to an international trading house, providing a wide range of tailor-made industrial systems and facilities all over the world.

 

A 100 % affiliate of the MAN AG, Ferrostaal achieves some 90 % of its turnover abroad and is, through its offices and representatives, present in more than 60 countries.

 

Steel still plays a central role in the business of Ferrostaal with an annual turnover of 2.6 million metric tons in 1996. The company trades in high quality steels, often in combination with processing and just-in-time delivery services. In addition, it offers a variety of products ranging from machinery, plants, ships and transport equipment to complete tailor-made industrial facilities.

 

A project executed by Ferrostaal can include everything from an initial cost-benefits analysis and a financing plan to an operations and maintenance contract, extending over decades. As a general contractor or consortium member, Ferrostaal is today involved in building a wide range of industrial facilities for the processing of steel, aluminium and other metals, extraction of raw materials, mining, and the conversion of gases, oil and related products.

 

Category: The Ikot Abasi Smelter

 

Reynolds - Aluminum Know-how Worldwide

Author: smith on 22-09-2013, 19:00, views: 2 291

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Reynolds - Aluminum Know-how WorldwideReynolds International, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reynolds Metals Company and engages in the sale and application of Reynolds technology worldwide. Reynolds Metals is a fully integrated manufacturer, distributer and marketer of primary and value-added fabricated aluminum products ranging from aluminium beverage cans and household aluminum foil to products used in transportation, building and construction industries.

 

Based in Richmond, Virginia, USA, Reynolds International is a part of this worldwide corporation with more than 100 wholly owned operations in 13 nations and affiliates in 12 countries employing 29,000 people worldwide.

 

Founded in 1919 as a packaging company, Reynolds now is vertically integrated in the aluminium business with diversified interest in plastics, consumer products and property development. Its wide variety of products and applications make it the second largest aluminium company in the United States and the third largest in the world.

 

The research conducted at Reynolds has greatly developed the primary reduction technology of aluminum. The development of the Reynolds pre-bake technology has placed Reynolds at the forefront in economically operable reduction plants with over 75 patents in rela ted reduction technology advances.

Reynolds Metals has been involved in the building and expansion of aluminum smelters in the U. S. A, Canada, Venezuela, Iran, Brazil, Germany and Scotland. The ALSCON smelter in Nigeria is its latest project.

 

Category: The Ikot Abasi Smelter

 

The ALSCON Smelter

Author: smith on 22-09-2013, 18:00, views: 4 018

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General view of the plant: Potrooms in the middleIn Ikot Abasi, the ALSCON Smelter is established with two series of 216 electrolytic cells, each series being termed a potline. In each of these potlines, two buildings approximately 0.8 km long, contain the reduction operation with state of the art computer control systems and highly mechanized cranes and raw materials (alumina, cryolite, etc.) handling systems. Huge fume treatment systems evacuate the off gases and scrub them of impurities before recycling the potentially harmful fluoride components back to the process.

 

Nearby is a fully integrated Carbon Plant which will produce the carbon anodes required, using imported calcined petroleum coke and pitch binder. This section of the smelter is also fitted with modern dust control and fume treatment plants, equal to or better than other similar plants throughout the world.

 

When the molten metal is 'tapped' from the pots into multiple vacuum or syphon crucibles, it is then treated to remove any potroom chemicals carried over, before combining it in the Casting Plant with any alloying elements required by the customer's specification. The final metal composition is then cast into commercial remelting ingots or specific shapes for further processing into flat sheet products or extended architectural sections.

 

Category: The Ikot Abasi Smelter

 

Important raw material: alumina

Author: smith on 22-09-2013, 17:00, views: 2 176

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It is estimated that the ALSCON plant, when operational, will utilise close to one billion cubic metres of gas annually. At the moment, gas is the only major input which will be sourced locally.

 

The most important raw material required by the Smelter is alumina - some 375,000 tonnes are required per annum. Bauxite, from which alumina is derived, has been identified in certain parts of Nigeria, but efforts are still being made to confirm its availability in commercial quantities and of acceptable quality. In the mean time, therefore, the plant has to depend on external source for alumina as most aluminium plants in Europe do.

 

Other required raw materials include Petroleum Coke and Pitch, both of which will be imported from approved offshore sources.

 

Both the local and international markets are the targets of the Smelter's products which include ingots, billets and sows. Local demand for the products is currently estimated at 25,000 tonnes per annum, and hence the bulk (over 85 %) of the products is to be exported. Indeed, a Metal Supply Agreement has already been signed with Reynolds International which provides for the sale of the products in the international market while still addressing the needs of the local secondary aluminium industry.

 

Annual Requirements of Inputs for lkot Abasi Aluminium Smelter Plant

 

INPUTQUANTITY
Alumina 375,000 tonnes
Petroleum Coke 80,000 tonnes
Petroleum Pitch 21,000 tonnes
Bath Chemicals 5,000 tonnes
Gas 950 million c.metres

Source: Analysis of the Alscon Consultants

Category: The Ikot Abasi Smelter

 

Ready for Start-Up

Author: smith on 22-09-2013, 16:00, views: 2 599

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Hasni Fotana, Guinean Minister of Energy and Natural Recources (left) visiting Nigeria at the time of ALSCON Chairman Alh. Bashir Dalhatu's (2. from left) inspection tour to the project site. On the right Arnulf Lokenhoff and Udo Lahser from Ferrostaal.Hasni Fotana, Guinean Minister of Energy and Natural Recources (left) visiting Nigeria at the time of ALSCON Chairman Alh. Bashir Dalhatu's (2. from left) inspection tour to the project site. On the right Arnulf Lokenhoff and Udo Lahser from Ferrostaal.At the start of April 1997, facilities needed to commence operations in Potline 1 had been installed and, to a large extent, tested ready for production. In the Power Plant for example, the first four (4) Gas Turbine Generators were fully proven ready, and the major 132KV Transformer-Rectifiers had passed their full current tests. Potline cranes and the initial group of cells were ready with anodes installed while in the Casting Plant, the first two (2) Holding Furnaces stood waiting to receive their first charge of metal. At the Harbour, the Suction Unloader and the long Belt Conveyor System leading to the Smelter, lay waiting for the first major shipment of alumina to be discharged and then conveyed 5 km to the plant silos.

 

Ancillary equipment throughout the Smelter was also in place, including the first Fume Treatment System, the extensive Analytical Laboratory, the Maintenance and Auto Repair Shops as well as the Medical Centre, Canteen and Utility Centres. Even the landscaping within the plant was largely developed, just in time to catch the next rainy season and, then, flourish rapidly.

 

Outside of the Smelter, the Township housing complex, already in place for some time, was almost full with the recently arrived teams of expatriate and Nigerian management staff.

 

As with most projects of this sort, there have been the usual delays and growing pains, especially those brought about by the absence or inadequacy of basic infrastructural facilities. The lack of housing and roads and the delays in funding in the early stages of the project all contributed to many doubts along the way. Later, the anxiety that natural gas supplies would not be ready in time were also overcome as the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) completed the ALSCON Gas Pipeline and started supplying gas in October 1996. Since then and with the Power House now ready, all plant power is produced using the previously wasted resource, gas.

 

Category: The Ikot Abasi Smelter

 

The Environment and Socio-Economic Development

Author: smith on 22-09-2013, 15:00, views: 2 615

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At a shareholder's inspection tour of the plant in November 1996: (left) Randy Reynolds, Roy Lee, Dr. H. Beister, Werner Holtey, Eng. M. Mohammed, Alh. B. Dalhatu, ALSCON Chairman, Dr. Klaus von Menges, Ingo Cammans, Alh. Aminu Kani, and Arnulf LdkenhoffAt a shareholder's inspection tour of the plant in November 1996: (left) Randy Reynolds, Roy Lee, Dr. H. Beister, Werner Holtey, Eng. M. Mohammed, Alh. B. Dalhatu, ALSCON Chairman, Dr. Klaus von Menges, Ingo Cammans, Alh. Aminu Kani, and Arnulf LdkenhoffWhile modern industry is essential for promoting socio-economic development and uplifting the general well-being of the communities around them, certain side-effects always accompany such development. Some matters for consideration include:

  • the impact of the development on the daily lives of the local populace;
  • the effects on the agricultural and livestock activities of the area;
  • the changes which may alter the environment and manifest themselves in the aquatic an terrestrial flora and fauna;
  • the level of education and need for greater or different types of training;
  • the resultant pressures of and on, local and regional authorities trying to act in the best interests of everyone concerned.

It is on account of all these considerations that various protective measures are incorporated in the implementation of industrial projects - to ensure a proper sustainable development.

 

Category: The Ikot Abasi Smelter

 

Contributing to the host Community

Author: smith on 22-09-2013, 14:00, views: 2 522

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The Township provides needed housing for the employeesThe Township provides needed housing for the employeesMr. Peter Waschka, ALSCON's General Manager, noted that 'as well as meeting the various FEPA requirements, the company will always be interested in the general development and well being of the local community'.

 

To many Ikot Abasi people, the saying 'once a person has put on loin cloth, he does not go nude again', holds true. The town which saw the opulence of slave

trade, that of the oil palm trade and the civilising influence of Christian missionaries in the 18th and the 19th centuries, cannot but embrace the commercial and industrial activities of the 20th century.

 

Elder Okpoho Ekpo, ALSCON's Assistant General Manager (Administration) and a native of Ikot Abasi, gives ALSCON a high score for the positive contribution the company has made so far in the lives of his people:

As a major industrial establishment, the Aluminium Smelter Plant is bound to have a tremendous impact on the physical and socio-economic development of Ikot Abasi. The site of the plant which was, until the commencement of construction work, swampy and marshy, has been transformed into habitable environment with modern architectural structures and roads'.

 

Category: The Ikot Abasi Smelter