Earlier this month Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba) inaugurated its Spent Pot Lining (SPL) Treatment Plant, which is part of the firm’s US$37.5 million zero-waste plant.
The 26,000 square meter is the first of its kind in the Middle East. Construction began at the end of 2019 and was completed on schedule despite challenges posed by the global coronavirus pandemic. The plant is capable of processing 35 thousand metric tons of spent pot lining per year into a product that is useful in other areas, such as in the production of cement.
Alba’s Chairman Shaikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij Al Khalifa said in a related press release that the plant is a major milestone in the firm’s drive to sustainable production.
“Bahrain, and Alba, have set many firsts in the Region – with the commissioning of the SPL Treatment Plant, we are proud to have once again set the benchmark in sustainability by transforming the Spent Pot Lining into value-added products. As ESG is our only way forward, we have proudly established this one-of-a-kind Project, and gone above and beyond to achieve the right balance between our economic gains and social returns We are also pleased to have achieved despite COVID-19 challenges savings of US$6.5 million, corresponding to 15% benefits, versus SPL Treatment Plant allotted CAPEX of US$44 million.”
Alba’s CEO Ali Al Baqali said the plant is a small step in changing the aluminium production paradigm.
“To change the way we do things, we need to challenge the existing reality. Without environmental sustainability, we cannot face the challenges the world is facing today. The SPL Treatment Plant translates our Mission to keep ESG as our top priority all the while doing more good to our community. I thank the Supreme Council of Environment, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism for their continuous guidance and support, Regain – our technology provider and all our partners for transforming our vision into reality.”
Alba is one of the largest industrial companies in the Middle East and is the world’s biggest aluminium smelter outside the People’s Republic of China. Originally incorporated in 1968, the company is based in Bahrain and 84% of its total workforce are Bahraini nationals. It began operations in 1971 with a 120,000 metric ton annual capacity. Modernization bumped the output up to 450,000 metric tons in 1992. In the spring of 2005, Alba opened Line 5, raising output by 860,000 metric tons per year. In 2020 Alba’s smelter produced 1,548,500 metric tons of primary aluminium.