Global aluminium producer Rusal has completed preparation of a testing site for the RA-550 reduction cell.

Prior to this, the Russia-based company completed engineering works and plans to commission the first cell in the third quarter of 2016.

According to Rusal, the RA-550 cell development is aimed at achieving better levels of technical and economic performance in aluminium smelting.

Rusal technical director Viktor Mann said: "RA-550 is a reduction cell with a breakthrough design for future smelters and upgrade projects at Rusal’s existing smelting capacities.

"Alongside the technical and process standards, it is a compulsory requirement for any modern production facility to comply with health and safety standards and to minimise hazardous emissions into the atmosphere.

"So all technological processes involving RA-550 cells are supported by the most advanced process control systems."

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With the new technology in place, the company plans to venture even into external technological design markets.

"RA-550 is a reduction cell with a breakthrough design for future smelters and upgrade projects at Rusal’s existing smelting capacities."

Compared with older cells, the new cell is expected to have a 50%-80% higher productivity.

RA-550 will also help evacuate pot gases in order to improve the pot sealing coefficient and enables better environmental efficiency.

In 2007, Rusal’s Engineering and Technology Centre started the RA-550 design as a project.

At present, a pilot potroom at Rusal’s Sayanogorsk aluminium smelter is in the process of assembling engineering structures and busbars in a test production area.

In addition, a substation has been built, and booster units have been installed.

Image: Rusal’s Sayanogorsk Aluminium Smelter. Photo: courtesy of Rusal.