Initiative Wins “Best Brownfield Technology” Category of American Metal Market’s Awards for Aluminum Excellence
GE Metals Solutions Features Power, Water, Automation and Electrical Distribution Solutions for Metals Manufacturers at Major Aluminum Industry Conference
GE showcased the power generation and energy management system modernization project the company recently completed for Dubai Aluminum (DUBAL). The success of this initiative won DUBAL and GE top honors in the “Best Brownfield Technology” category of American Metal Market’s Awards for Aluminum Excellence.
The 2012 Awards for Aluminum Excellence program recognizes the most innovative companies in the field across multiple categories, and winners are selected by a judging panel made up of leaders in the aluminum industry. The project recognized at this year’s awards began in 2007, when GE and DUBAL launched a major energy- and cost-savings initiative:
DUBAL owns and operates one of the world's largest single-site aluminium smelters, and its smelter complex in Jebel Ali can produce more than 960,000 tons of quality, hot metal aluminum each year. Further, with an on-site generating capacity exceeding 2,500 MW, it supplies all of its own electric power. The electricity needed to power these operations is a substantial expense – fully one-third of the cost of aluminum production. To maintain its quality standards and to continue growing while becoming more competitive around the globe, DUBAL needed a way to significantly reduce power costs.
To do so, DUBAL enlisted GE’s help to implement a complete overhaul of its power management and generation operations. The project featured the installation of GE’s XA-21 SCADA energy management system and an update of its GE Frame 9B and 9E turbines. GE and DUBAL have realized the following results since the beginning of the collaboration:
A 22.69 percent increase in output by upgrading five GE 9B gas turbines. This added 75 million watts to existing capability, sufficient to power over 60,000 homes
A 10.44 percent improvement on heat rate, saving the company $4 million in fuel cost savings annually
Efficient management of more than 2,350 MW, enough to power 1.8 million homes
A system availability rate of >98.98%
A savings on electricity expenses to recover project costs within three years
Global aluminum production continues to grow across the globe. In the U.S., for instance, the demand for aluminium will grow dramatically over the next three to five years as the nation’s automotive industry shifts to lighter materials to boost fuel efficiency and to reduce emissions in the face of stricter regulations. China remains the largest producer and consumer of aluminium, with no sign of slowing in the immediate future, according to a recent report from Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Additionally, the Middle East is forecasted to produce almost one-fifth of the world’s aluminum by 2020 following a $20 billion spending program on new smelters and expansions of existing capacities.
“Even in these bullish markets, our customers in the aluminum industry continue to come to GE to develop and implement innovative solutions to cut operational costs,” said Keiran Coulton, president of GE Global Industries and general manager of GE Metals Solutions. “With the price of energy at its highest level in the past decade and electricity accounting for nearly one-third of aluminium production costs, reducing energy consumption is a top priority. Our work with DUBAL demonstrates how GE is at work with aluminum producers, implementing effective solutions and integrating new technologies to improve their overall energy efficiency.”
During this week’s Aluminum Summit at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York, GE Metals Solutions is showcasing its innovative solutions in the areas of power, water, automation and electrical distribution. For more information on GE Metals Solutions portfolio of products, please visit ge-metals.com/.
And, to learn more about the Dubai Aluminum success story, please visit ge-spark.com/spark/dubal.
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Angela Griffey, Edelman
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