In March of 2017 Mechatherm was awarded the contract from Bechtel Co. Ltd. on behalf of ALBA (Aluminium Bahrain) for the turnkey supply of the melting/holding furnaces and launder systems for their Pot Line 6 Expansion Project. This was a very prestigious contract award for Mechatherm and one that reaffirmed the company’s position as a leading supplier of casthouse furnaces in particular to the Middle East and GCC countries. To date Mechatherm has installed over seventy melting and holding furnace references across the Middle East region commencing from the late 1980’s.
The ALBA (Pot Line 6 Expansion Project) contract to Mechatherm was for the supply of state of the art casthouse equipment including the integration of the hot metal treatment systems feeding various casting processes. The Mechatherm supplied equipment includes three 165 Tonne capacity tilting melting/holding furnaces, three 85 Tonne capacity melting/holding furnaces and two under hearth electromagnetic stirring systems (EMS). One other supplied feature of our casthouse scope and overall layout is a fully integrated and inter connecting hot metal delivery system; this system allows metal to be delivered from each furnace to any one of the newly installed casting machines supplied by other OEMs as part of the same project.
To explain this further, the furnace design scope was specified so that the furnaces should be able to supply hot metal to a total of three different casting machines via a common launder system. The casting machines include a 165 Tonne VDC Rolling Ingot (Slab) casting machine, an 85 Tonne VDC Billet casting machine and a 10kg Continuous Ingot casting machine.
Under normal circumstances our supplied 165 Tonne capacity tilting melting/holding furnaces will be predominantly used to serve the 165 Tonne VDC Rolling Ingot casting machine. However, there is enough design capacity and cycle time built in for one of these furnaces to feed the continuous 10kg Ingot casting machine. Likewise, our 85 Tonne capacity melting/holding furnaces are dedicated to feed the 85 Tonne VDC capacity Billet casting machine in the same manner, but also having design and cycle capacity to additionally feed the 10kg Ingot casting machine.
This overall casthouse layout gives ALBA optimum casting flexibility dependent upon their production and cast product needs. In addition, Mechatherm is also supplying and installing the associated ‘third party’ in-line degassing, refining and filtration systems to each casting line.
The ALBA (Pot Line 6 Expansion Project) Casthouse Furnaces contract was awarded to Mechatherm on a full “Turn-key” basis by the project nominated EPCM, Bechtel Co. Ltd. – USA (Bahrain Branch). Mechatherm has worked closely with Bechtel throughout the design engineering phase right through to the on-site installation execution which is currently ongoing and scheduled to be fully complete by September 2019.
Mechatherm can proudly report that in January of this year, that the first hot metal was delivered from one of the 165 Tonne capacity tilting melting/holding furnaces to allow the first continuous cast of 10kg ingots.
Mechatherm 165T Tilting Melting/Holding Furnace – During 1st Cast
On the back of this prestigious contract award from ALBA / Bechtel, Mechatherm has seen recent business growth not only in annual turnover, but also in the number of employees working now at our UK headquarters. Working on such a large and engineering intensive project such as the ALBA (Pot Line 6 Expansion) casthouse, Mechatherm has recruited and built up its professional workforce after experiencing a slow period of business activity mostly blamed on the drop-in price of world Aluminum during 2015 – 2017.
Thankfully with aluminium prices and order intake now recovering to somewhat normal levels again, Mechatherm is well positioned and setup to tender for other large scale casthouse contracts world-wide. This perception has already been vindicated as Mechatherm has been successfully adding to its references, particularly in the USA over the last two years and recently won its biggest ever single value order at JW Aluminum in Goose Creek, South Carolina for the supply of four 140 Tonne Multi-chamber contaminated scrap de-coating/melting furnaces feeding two 155 Tonne tilting holding furnaces as part of JW Aluminium’s new continuous aluminium sheet production expansion.
As part of Mechatherm’s continued growth and brand building efforts the companies first satellite office for sales and services has now been established in Dubai, UAE. The intention is for this dedicated branch office to offer maximum support to Mechatherm’s customers in the Middle East and GCC countries as the area has provided a large proportion of Mechatherm’s business over the years.