The Taishet smelter that is now being constructed by RUSAL in the Irkutsk region will add 750,000 tonnes to the company’s overall production capacity. Upon completion, the new hi-tech facility will become one of RUSAL’s key Siberian assets. The smelter’s proximity to Asia will enable RUSAL to ensure fast and secure deliveries of the facility’s products to the world’s largest and fastest growing aluminium markets.
A feasibility study for the smelter’s construction was designed by the international engineering company Bechtel Corporation together with RUSAL’s Engineering and Construction Division. The smelter will be equipped with energy efficient RA-400Т reduction cells, developed by the company’s Engineering and Technological Centre. RA-400Т is currently one of the most powerful cells globally – it can produce around 3 tonnes of aluminium daily. The Taishet smelter capacities will include four potrooms, a casthouse, an anode plant, as well as energy generating units and relevant infrastructure.
The Taishet smelter construction was started in 2007. The construction site is located between the cities of Taishet and Talaya, in the West of the Irkutsk region. The place was chosen to mitigate the facility’s impact on the region’s environment. RUSAL is considering an opportunity to construct a railway leg between the smelter and the Taishet station that would help to enhance logistics.
The public hearings on the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment of the Taishet smelter construction took place in March 2005. Most of the participants approved the construction project. In February 2008, the project was approved by Russia’s national expert body Glavgosexpertiza.
The Taishet smelter was designed to ensure environment-friendly operations. The facility will be equipped with the up-to-date dry gas scrubbers and automated alumina point feeders that will help to reduce harmful emissions.
Once completed, the Taishet facility will create over 3,000 jobs. RUSAL plans to build around 150,000 square meters of housing for the smelter employees. Furthermore, the company intends to construct utility, social, cultural and welfare infrastructure facilities in the region.
As of today, the temporary construction base is almost completed, the concrete plant has been commissioned and the warehouses for equipment storage have been put in place. The company has started the construction of automobile roads and railway links. Furthermore, the company has begun to build a water supply and sewerage network and assemble metal structures for the smelter construction.
RUCAL has already invested more than $700 mln in Taishet smelter construction. The company is in search of investors to complete it.