A pilot plant for purifying exhaust gases and recovery of waste heat was today opened by Oil and Energy Minister Tord Lien at Alcoa Mosjøen. The AHEX technology used in the plant, was developed over 10 years of collaboration between Alstom and Alcoa, with significant support from Enova.
“This project is a real success story. There are significant environmental upsides, and in addition, we can save costs and reduce our overall energy consumption”, says Kai-Rune Heggland, Country Manager Alcoa Norway.
The technology used in the system has been developed by the global industrial company Alstom and tested at the plant of one of the world's largest aluminium producers, Alcoa, with the support of Enova for 7.1 million NOK. The technology has multiple benefits: it both cleans the exhaust gases from the Alcoa anode bakery, as well as recycling waste heat and converting it into energy, thus reducing energy consumption for Alcoa.
In the production of anodes for aluminium production, fumes are formed. It was not until now possible to utilize waste heat from the exhaust gases. Alstom has however developed heat exchangers (HEXes) that allow the exhaust gases to be exploited - not only for heating purposes, but also for the production of electricity, which in turn can be traced back to Alcoa's internal network and used in anode production.
”It is very positive for Alstom and crucial to work with players like Alcoa and Enova to develop and test leading technology," says Eric Staurset, Country President Alstom Norway.
Potential for significant environmental gain
The technology has great transfer value and may eventually contribute to a more efficient and cleaner energy. Norwegian mainland industries consume about 75 TWh of energy annually. Despite significant improvements and energy efficiency, a large portion of waste heat (about a 10-odd TWh waste heat) is not recovered today. Through the technology that is implemented by Alcoa Mosjøen it may in future be possible to utilize a significantly larger portion of the waste heat for power generation and heating purposes.
Enova has been a major supporter of the project from the very beginning, with recovery of waste heat as one of its main focus areas. Hans Kristian Nakstad, CEO of Enova, is very pleased with the partnership:
"This is an example of the added-value that can be created when customers, suppliers and funding agencies join forces. We hope more companies look to Alstom and Alcoa for inspiration – from which they can benefit."
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