Successful refinery startup at the worlds largest integrated aluminium project

first_imgThe Ma’aden aluminium project in Saudi Arabia, a joint venture between the Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden) and light metals leader Alcoa, will be the world’s largest vertically integrated mine-to-metal complex. The alumina refinery at Ras Al-Khair is the first refinery to be constructed and operated in the region. Hatch’s patented multi-cell jacketed pipe heater (tube) digestion technologies are at the refinery’s core.In December 2014, the 1.8 Mt/y greenfield alumina refinery, located on the Arabian Gulf Coast, successfully produced its first alumina from Saudi Arabian bauxite.In preparation for the complete refinery start-up, Hatch provided operational readiness support including operating manuals and Safe Work Instructions (SWIs) and hands-on commissioning assistance for the integrated digestion and evaporation facility. Timely and safe digestion start-up was facilitated by Hatch alumina professionals with extensive technical and operating experience in new refinery start-ups and operation of facilities.During the commissioning and start-up phase, Hatch also worked closely with the Ma’aden control room operators to develop simple, practical tools to help them manage operation of the tube digestion technology. Experienced Hatch alumina specialists also provided operational readiness services for several other refinery facilities, including preparation of commissioning plans, operations manuals, SWIs, and hands-on training for operations personnel.Hatch’s state-of-the-art tube digestion technology is part of the core process at the Ma’aden refineryIn addition, Hatch provided asset management support services for all mine and refinery facilities. The Hatch team developed a proactive, risk-averse, holistic, and easy-to-integrate asset management program (AMP). The AMP was implemented before the refinery start-up to enable optimum asset performance from the first day of operations, without compromising safety or the environment.The scope of the AMP development included equipment hierarchy, maintenance strategies, and procedures using Hatch eGateway.ASD™. The AMP developed fit-for-purpose, shared solutions through a collaborative process with the Ma’aden maintenance and operations teams.Hatch personnel completed facility walk-rounds and physically audited and listed more than 15,000 refinery assets on the very busy, complex construction site. The goal was to be operationally ready as quickly as possible while maintaining global safety standards through deployment of best maintenance practices and alumina refining expertise. The team completed criticality analyses across all the refinery assets based on risk to safety, production, and environmental effects. This was followed by facilitated workshops at site on failure modes and effects critical analysis (FMECA) and development of the maintenance task list as the basis for the maintenance strategies.The result is a complete asset hierarchy, populated and uploaded to Ma’aden’s Oracle eAM asset management system, in time for the “go live” date. This includes 55 area-specific equipment management strategies, 3,500 maintenance activities (tasks required for jobs planning) uploaded to Oracle eAM, and 585 work instructions and procedures for critical assets.Ma’aden considers the overall refinery start-up a success. This is a significant element of Saudi Arabia’s national strategy to diversify its industrial base, reduce reliance on oil and gas–based industries, and increase skills transfer and employment opportunities for Saudi nationals.www.hatch.calast_img read more