The estimated $285 million project calls for the addition of 128 pots to the current 120 cells at the seventh potline. The expansion will also add a further 36 pots to the ninth potline, which was completed in 2003 with 212 cells. Plans also include the installation of a technology fume treatment system, at a cost of about $30 million.

The first tenders are expected to be issued soon, with construction scheduled to begin by the end of September. Production is expected to begin by the fourth quarter of 2006. An engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contractor has yet to be appointed, although Canada’s SNC Lavalinhas been working on the expansion of the seventh potline.

According to officials at Dubal, two further phases to increase capacity are also in the planning stage. Power for the furnaces will come from the power plant serving the Kestrel expansion programme. France’s Alstomand GE Power Systemsof the US were awarded in April 2003 the main turbine packages on the Kestrel expansion, which is intended to add 245 MW to the plant’s existing capacity.