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Windbox joints assist power supply of the Worsley Power Station

Supplier: HMA Group
15 October, 2009

Worsley Alumina's power station needs about 100 megawatts of electricity per day to run its refinery, overland conveyor and mine site.

It produces this electricity through its own on-site coal-fired power station and gas-fired co-generation plant based at the refinery.

As part of this project, POGC – HMA Group, supplied custom made DEKOMTE windbox joints for the boilers, which are essential to the plant.

These joints are made up of multiple layers of fabric to add extra durability. They are also made out of gas tight material (PTFE and foil) to reduce leaks.

The outer material are created out of either silicon, rubber or PTFE, which makes them weatherproof. This extends the lifespan of the joints.

On top of that, the construction shape and form of the joints can be customised to suit multiple applications.

In 2000, Worsley Alumina increased its production capacity by one third, creating a demand for more electricity.

To meet this demand, Worsely installed a new $90 million gas fired co-generation plant. This plant was a private development and is currently owned by Western Power and Origin Energy.

It feeds excess electricity into Western Australia's power grid and runs on a gas turbine fed by natural gas brought from the North-West, through the Dampier to the Bunbury pipeline.

This plant uses exhaust heat generated by the gas turbine to produce a high and low pressure stream. Worseley Alumina also has an arrangement to buy the stream, so it can be diverted into the alumina refining process, as well as to the company's own stream turbines.

In total, the co-generation plant is capable of producing 120 MW for WA's public power supply.

In the future, a new $500 million multi-fuel co-generation unit will be built at the Worsley Alumnia refinery to be owned and operated by the Griffin Group.

This unit will supply both steam and electricity for the Worsely expansion, which is currently under construction.

The state of the art technology uses a circulating fluidised bed, resulting in lower emissions and a greater flexibility in terms of what can be burnt.

Additionally, it will be able to burn biomass, coal and other products, including gas. Orders for the two turbines and boiler plant were placed in mid 2008 with Austrian Energy and Environment (AE&E). Construction is expected to be completed at the end of 2009 or early 2010.

The DEKOMTE windbox expansion joints will be an important part of all of these constructions.