Friday, January 18, 2019

Major Considerations in Development of General Layout of Alumina Refinery

Hi Friends,

In earlier papers, we have discussed many design, engineering, operational and quality control issues pertaining to Alumina refinery. In present paper, we would like to discuss the major considerations in development of overall general layout of a new green-field Alumina refinery. Basic considerations are outlined below-

  1. Location of Project Site:  
Site selection of project site plays a vital role in capex and opex of Alumina refinery. If the site is located near the sea coast then minimum elevation level of plant should be 5 meters above the high tide level observed in last 100 years.

  1. Natural Site Conditions: 
a.       Following parameters are of utmost importance which have direct bearing in the long run on successful operation of Alumina refinery-
b.      Topography of land,
c.       High flood level,
d.      Maximum wind velocity,
e.      Predominant direction of wind,
f.        Maximum rain fall,
g.       Safe bearing capacity (SBC) of soil,
h.      Total natural evaporation and
i.         Elevation of site from MSL.
j.        Natural topography of land should be utilized for gravity flow of process streams so as to minimize the expenses towards cutting and filling during site grading and expenses towards pumping energy during normal operation of the plant.

  1. Process Technology: 
Each and every Alumina refinery is the combination of tailor-made equipment and facilities depending on the plant capacity and technology considered.  Depending on technological requirement and material flow sequence of process streams, substantial reduction in length of piping network and their structural supports can be achieved. Thus, Plant layout must be frozen after finalization of process technology with due consideration of Bauxite quality and process efficiency figures.

  1. Finalization of Plant and Equipment: 
Finalization of capacity and dimensions of equipment are essential to work out the preliminary shop layouts for developing the overall plant layout.

  1. Space for Operational and Maintenance Convenience: 
Adequate space must be kept in every area of the plant for safe movement of operating personnel and mechanized maintenance equipment.

  1. Storage for Input Raw Materials and Products: 
The storage sheds and vessels should be adequately considered for the plant. The inclination of belt conveyor for movement of bulk solid materials should not exceed the dynamic angle of repose of the material. This parameter is important for deciding the height of storage and space requirement.

  1. Adherence to Safety and Environmental Protection Norms: 
Statutory requirements with regard to safety and environment protection guidelines are strictly followed while developing the layout of Alumina refinery.

  1. Capex and Opex of Alumina refinery:
Lower Capex and Opex are considered as prime objectives for development of final layout of Alumina refinery.

These are a few major parameters essentially considered in developing the overall general layout of Alumina refinery.

We solicit your valued comments / remarks.

Rajendra Kunwar
Principal Consultant-Engineering,
CETI Enterprises.

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