February 2007 DUBAL
and Mubadala sign
a joint protocol and
for the EMAL Smelter
PROVING THEIR METAL
species relocated from the
and mosque fully
First power achieved
from on-site power
2009: First pot
beginning of the
3. Port and material handling: Dedicated port and storage silos were built
to receive raw materials, such as alumina and coke, a reducing agent.
4. Energy: Plant-wide distribution
systems provided power to all areas,
including the communication network.
5. Reduction processes: The first
step in the smelting process happens
in reduction pots, where electrolysis
breaks down raw materials into usable
components. This team oversaw the
construction of two potlines, aluminum
fluoride and bath transfer systems, and
repair and maintenance shops.
6. Carbon processes: Next in the
smelting process, aluminum is made
through a series of electrochemical reactions. This requires anode manufacturing through a paste plant, anode baking
furnaces, a fume treatment center, an
anode rodding shop, and buildings for
spent anodes, bath cooling, bath treatment and storage.
7. Casthouse: Finally, the aluminum
is cast into various finished products
such as billets, sheets and ingots in the
casthouse building. This requires metal-holding furnaces, casting machines, a
metallurgical laboratory, cooling towers
and storage areas.
Remote teams from Canada, Australia,
the United States, India and China
handled much of the work.
A cloud computing system was set
up to facilitate project documentation
and keep teams connected.
“The major advantage was everybody was looking at the same information set at the same time from all the
places in the world,” Mr. Orzechowski
says. “It’s incredible how many errors
and mistakes are made in projects
because people are looking at old documentation.”
THE FIRST THING ABOUT
Fast-tracking a megaproject exposes an
organization to numerous risks. The
project team held a workshop to conduct a Monte Carlo risk simulation—a
computerized mathematical technique
that allows project leaders to identify
and assess the range of outcomes for a
given risk—before the budget was set.
The SLWP team also held a series of
risk-assessment workshops at the beginning of execution. Potential project
risks were recorded in a risk register and
ranked by their potential likelihood and
“The whole risk process is about
identification, thinking what you can
do to solve it and then tracking it so you
can get rid of it,” Mr. Orzechowski says.
One major risk was the sheer number of on-site employees to manage—
an 18,000-strong workforce.
When you have so many people on
a project, very often they have varying
levels of training, he explains. “So we
had an extensive quality team to make
remote teams, advises
formerly of SNC-Lavalin
Taweelah, United Arab
Emirates. “We did send
people from a core team
to the various locations
to make sure there was a
link. Typically, when you
distribute work, people
get into silos very quickly.
So you need to keep
these links active to make
sure everybody’s working
on the same path they
need to be.”