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