There was an existing cooling tower at Alcoa Aluminerie de Bécancour that had to be replaced by a new improved type to cope with process conditions which had changed since its inception in 1985. The increased volume of Anode Bake Furnace (ABF) fumes, altered pitch burning conditions, anode recipe and the rise in elements such as vanadium and sulfur in the petroleum cokes demanded a larger modern Conditioning Tower design. Danieli Corus (DC) was contracted by the owner’s engineer, Hatch Ltd, to design, supply and deliver the new tower to Aluminerie de Bécancour Incorporated (ABI).During the design and engineering the critical task was to minimize the outage time for tie-in of the new tower to minimize anode production loss and potential fugitive emissions from the ABF. A modular approach was taken in the design whereby the components were fabricated in large sections to minimize the degree of site assembly. Fabrication and pre-assembly of the Conditioning Tower was performed offsite in a manufacturing shop situated in the Republic of China. Inspection and expediting of the components from the shop to the erection site required close cooperation of ABI, Hatch and Danieli Corus BV.Thermal insulating, alignment and pre-commissioning activities were performed over the winter months leading to tie-in in early spring. A very smooth and safely executed tie-in procedure allowed the anode bake furnace and new Conditioning Tower to be brought online within 48 hours.
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