Worsley Alumina

Worsley is located approximately 189 kilometers south east of Perth, Western Australia and around 50km inland from the lovely coastal town of Bunbury.

Unit 6 Construction

Contract

Austrian Energy & Environment (AE&E)

AE&E Australian Website (only “index of” page available when writing article)

Position

Mechanical Construction Superintendent

Client

Griffin Energy

Griffin Energy has progressed substantially following the deregulation of the Western Australian energy sector in 1997. The Government’s reforms opened the energy market to private enterprise, creating an opportunity for the Griffin Group to expand from a coal supplier to a full scale energy provider with a diverse range of power generating assets.

Griffin Energy prides itself on developing an innovative and sustainable portfolio of generating technologies and fuel types, including renewables (Source Griffin Energy)

Brief Plant History

Worsley Alumina’s Refinery was built over 20 years ago and produces electricity through it’s own on-site coal fired power station and gas-fired co-generation plant.  The power station contains three coal fired boilers which each produce 225 tonnes of superheated steam per hour. On average the refining process uses 740 tonnes of this steam per hour. It also has four steam turbines producing power to support the power house (18MW) refinery operations (75MW), overland conveyor and Boddington mine site 14MW.

Over the years production capacity has increased by over one third the original capacity and so a new $90 million gas fired Co-generation plant was installed in 2009. This is jointly privately owned by Western Power and Origin Energy but operated by Worsley Alumina.

This plant runs a natural gas Turbine Generator with the fuel supplied from the Northwest vie the Dampier to Bunbury pipeline.  Any power not consumed by the Refinery is exported to the Western Australia power grid.

The plant uses exhaust heat generated by the gas turbine to produce a high and low pressure stream. Worsley Alumina also has an arrangement to buy the steam, to be diverted into the alumina refining process, as well as to the company’s own steam turbines.

In total, the current co-generation plant is capable of producing 120MW of WA’s public power supply. However, expansion projects and efficiencies will increase production to over 3.5 billion tonnes of Alumina per year requiring further expansion of power supplies. To accommodate this demand a new multi-fuel Co-generation development is under way.

Worsley Coal Fired Power Station

Scope

The new $500 million multi-fuel co-generation development is a key part in the Worsley Expansion Project and requires the construction of two units which will supply both steam and electricity.

The state of the art plant will use two Circulating Fluidised Bed boiler units, resulting in lower emissions, environmental efficiency and a wider range of fuel flexibility and availability (coal, gas and biomass).

This new development is to be owned and operated by the Griffin Group. The testing and handover of the first unit is scheduled for mid 2011 with the second unit scheduled for late 2011.

Unit 5 ID Fan & Baghouse

I was contracted by Austrian Energy & Environment (AE& E) in early 2010 until September 2010.  I was responsible for the construction of ‘Balance of Plant’ equipment and the fuel feed systems for the Furnace, Boiler and Steam Turbine plants. These installations were nearly 50% complete when I accepted a new contract in Olympic Dam.

Project Facts

  • The total Worsley Expansion project will increase alumina production from 3.5 million tonnes to 4.6 million tonnes making it’s refinery one of the most efficient operations of it’s kind in the world.
  • Peak employment during construction of the Co-gen plant will be approx 300 people

Contractors

  • Concrete & Civil Projects – Cimeco
  • Construction and Commissioning – AE& E
  • Fire Protection Systems – Chubb

Interesting articles and references

BHP Billiton Worsley Alumina

National Library of Australia