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Ready for Start-Up

Author: smith on 22-09-2013, 16:00, views: 3 707

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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.

 

ALSCON Management in August 1997: (left) Deputy General Manager Ingo Cammans, Deputy Managing Director Eng. M. Mohammed, Managing Director Dieter Matron and General Manager Peter WaschkaALSCON Management in August 1997: (left) Deputy General Manager Ingo Cammans, Deputy Managing Director Eng. M. Mohammed, Managing Director Dieter Matron and General Manager Peter WaschkaLong awaited, the rehabilitation of the only major road leading to the plant site from Ete to Ikot Abasi, has received greater attention. The construction of the 1500-unit Housing Estate, near the Smelter, straddling the main road, has also been delayed for many months, which created a serious housing problem. Fortunately too, this is now well underway and showing good progress with the completion of the first 100 home units. It also seems that the execution of the final major infrastructure facility, the dredging of the Imo River, will soon commence.

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Category: The Ikot Abasi Smelter

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