“We will do what we can to get aluminium production at Qatalum back on track as soon as possible in a safe and responsible manner,” says Hilde Merete Aasheim, executive vice president for Hydro’s Primary Metal business area.
After a power failure cut electricity supplies to the reduction cells at the Qatalum aluminium plant on Monday, all available resources have been in place to limit the consequences of the power outage.
Attempts to resume production continued late on Monday and early on Tuesday, but proved impossible as the cooling process had already solidified the liquid electrolyte. The incident caused no injuries.
“Safety has had top priority in all considerations during this critical situation in Qatar. I’m pleased that everyone is safe and no one is hurt,” Aasheim says.
Qatalum is in the middle of the ramp-up towards full output, and produced at around 60 percent of full capacity at the time of the incident. Hydro is working to determine how long it will take before the plant will reach full capacity.
Aasheim says Hydro considers the situation very serious.
”We have to get to the bottom of this to determine what caused the power outage to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” she says. Qatalum has established an investigatory commission of representatives from Qatar Petroleum and Hydro.
Qatalum is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Hydro. When complete it will be one of the most modern, energy-efficient and environmentally high-performing aluminium plant in the world, with an annual production capacity of 585,000 tonnes of aluminium.