The equipment, supplied by Hertwich Engineering of Germany, comprises three ultrasonic inspection stations, three electrically heated continuous homogenising and cooling facilities and two packaging stations.

Hertwich awarded the installation contract to VHE after inviting tenders from suitably qualified installation contractors. The work, which involves more than 20 of VHE‘s skilled staff, began in mid-summer 2011 and is scheduled for completion in February 2012.

This installation is a part of Rio Tinto Alcan Iceland’s smelter upgrade project, the ISAL Production Upgrade – or IPU – at the Straumsvik smelter. The casthouse production capacity will total 230kt/y of billets in diameters ranging from 178mm to 254mm.