Orbite Technologies announced on June 21 the immediate shutdown of operations at its High Purity Alumina (HPA) plant in Cap-Chat, Québec, Canada, due to technical problems with the plant’s calcination equipment.
According to Orbite, the startup bed of amorphous HPA was injected into the decomposer and it was filled to its operational level. The upstream hydrometallurgical section was also in full operation and ACH (aluminum chloride hexahydrate, the precursor to high purity alumina) crystal transfer into the decomposer had commenced. The calciner was almost filled to operating levels and Orbite was starting to discharge HPA from the calciner when operators observed abnormal variations with the material fluidization in the calciner bed, leading to the breakage of four ceramic heating tubes in the calciner and one ceramic heating tube in the decomposer.