UC Rusal recently a commissioned a new R1.1 billion ($19 million) digestion train at the Urals Aluminum Smelter (UAZ). The new digestion train, which consists of 82 units, will expand the refinery’s alumina production by 130,000 metric tons per year (mt/y). Total annual output of UAZ will grow to 900,000 mt of alumina.

The new equipment, according to the company, will improve safety and increase the energy efficiency of the production process. “During the course of the modernization of our production sites, we have introduced up-to-date technologies and equipment. It is important to notice that the commissioned digester primarily consists of equipment that has been designed and made in Russia and as such, surpasses its foreign counterparts,” said Vladislav Soloviev, CEO of RUSAL.

During the first quarter of 2017, Rusal reported that its total alumina production declined by 2.6% quarter-on-quarter, totaling 1.9 million mt. Russian operations accounted for 37% of total output. Production volumes at refineries were largely in line with its production plans. Seasonal repair works performed at Windalco, Auginish and Bogoslovsk were offset by production performance at Achinsk and Urals. In additional to the UAZ upgrade, capacity upgrades were also completed at the Nikolaev refinery.