Qatar-based aluminium producer Qatalum has completed a groundbreaking project to install semi-automatic cover handling units on all smelter pots to lower harmful emissions and to increase safety.
The ultra-modern new pot cover units result in shorter periods of atmospheric exposure during smelting process anode changes than traditional mechanised covering methods.
Qatalum is the only smelter in the world practising semi-automatic cover handling.
Qatalum Reduction Manager Hans Petter Lange said: “Qatalum takes its commitment to the environment and to our staff very seriously. Safety is at the heart of everything we do and we expect the installation of the semi-automatic cover handling units to dramatically reduce workplace risk and harmful emissions.
“At Qatalum, we take pride in our track record of international industry leadership in efforts to embrace technology and to raise standards of quality.
“Today, we are the only smelter in the world to use semi-automatic cover handling units and we expect other smelters to follow our lead over the coming years. Minimising human interaction with pots during the smelting process in this way is an important and game-changing step for the industry.”
Covering of pots during the smelting process is done to reduce emissions. Traditional methods of pot cover removal, to facilitate anode changes, have seen workers exposed to harmful gases at plants all over the world.
From today, pot cover removal at Qatalum’s plant will be done remotely, from a safe distance.
Emissions from Qatalum’s plant are recorded at 0.15kg of fluoride per ton of aluminium produced, the lowest in the world.
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