Brodie, D.J. and Schmidt, H.W.

The Nabalco Alumina Refinery at Gove in the Northern Territory of Australia commenced operation in 1972. Four oil fired rotary kilns are used for the calcination of alumina trihydrate to alumina. Continually increasing production rate has led to the requirement for additional calcination capacity. For this reason a project was commenced to install a modern Fluid Bed Calciner at the refinery.

The economic justification of the project required a calciner of sufficient capacity that two rotary kilns could be shut down, providing significant fuel and maintenance savings. A stringent requirement of particle breakage to be no more than 1% higher than that in the rotary kilns was imposed to ensure product quality was not compromised. Further limitations on product alumina temperature and particulate emissions added to the unique design of the calciner.

Lurgi (Australia) Pty Ltd, were successful with their bid to supply a 2700 mtpd Circulating Fluid Bed Calciner for the Nabalco Refinery. The calciner was designed specifically for Nabalco’s requirements, based on the successful design, operation, upgrading and modification of the 35 Lurgi calciners operating on Alumina worldwide.