RUSAL has completed preparations for construction of the pilot plant to produce innovative material for the cable industry at its Achinsk Alumina Refinery (AGK) – fine precipitated aluminium hydroxide (FPAH) – with a capacity of 5,000 tpa. Project investments will amount to over RUB 500 mln.
‘After the completion of the testing process in a lab, which confirmed high quality of the product, and after having received positive feedback from our customers, we decided to construct a pilot plant twice the size of the one we planned a year ago. The demand for FPAH in Russia and around the world grows gradually every year. This is why we expect that the new production will reach the designed capacity by the end of 2021, and then we will be able to offer the environmentally-friendly and cost-competitive product to an extensive pool of customers. In addition, if the demand increases, we can build up the FPAH production capacity at the second project implementation stage,’ said Evgeny Nikitin, RUSAL's CEO.
Fine precipitated aluminium hydroxide is a powder with particles of less than 3 μm, which is hundred times thinner than a human hair. Its physical and chemical properties make this material an excellent fire retardant. Therefore, aluminium hydroxide is widely used in the production of silicate wool for cables for the nuclear, ship building, aviation, and automotive industries. It is also used in the production of paints and lacquers, high-quality paper, and polymer compounds for various applications.
Global consumption of FPAH exceeds 800,000 tpa and grows by more than 4% per year. Russia's FPAH demand exceeds 30,000 tpa and currently 100% of the product are imported. The project of RUSAL will become the first domestic FPAH producer.
The Russian FPAH production process is RUSAL’s know-how invented by the Engineering and Technological Centre of the Company. In 2017, specialists produced the first batch of FPAH at a large laboratory-scale plant.
In addition to the low cash cost FPAH has good environmental characteristics as the production process does not generate waste and does not emit sulphur and nitrogen oxides and dioxides.