2019 was another challenging year for the aluminium primary industry. The AP Technology™ team continued delivering advanced solutions to optimize existing operations and drive performance : low energy pot modernizations are being implemented with constant improvements and important innovations in both functionalities and product characteristics.
In September 2019, AP Technology launched a worldwide Customer Survey. Thanks to your answers, we have now a precise image of how you perceive our activities, our products and solutions and our capacity to fulfil your needs to your satisfaction. The results confirm our strong brand position and is a very encouraging sign for our teams. This survey has also revealed some points that require improvements to better serve our clients. Our teams are already working on them.
On 20th September 2019, LRF celebrated its 60 years. An official ceremony was held in the presence of French administration representatives, local stakeholders, AP Technology™ partners as well as Rio Tinto senior leaders, employees and guests. For all these years LRF has been at the forefront of smelter technology development and is home for the development of some of the most advanced technology solutions. Important upgrading of the LRF reduction hall was undertaken in 2019 to maintain its position as a core asset to further develop new technologies allowing fast and safe pot reengineering with enhanced performances for amperage creep or energy reduction on any existing platform including AP18, AP30 and AP60. We have also hired a number of new employees to become our experts for tomorrow.
The new generation anode baking furnace without headwalls being demonstrated in our Rio Tinto plant in Bell Bay, Tasmania, Australia and which confirmed the expected significant capacity and CAPEX advantages, has now more than two years of operation and is showing very positive results on the OPEX.
I am very proud to announce that Rio Tinto MAX – the autonomous anode transport vehicle – has now become an industrial reality. On 13 November 2019, MAX had a flawless start with its first tour in Alvance Aluminium Dunkerque Smelter in France opening a period of operational tests in the smelter. It is scheduled to be fully operative in the first quarter of 2020.
2019 was another challenging year for the aluminium primary industry and the AP Technology™ team continued to support global customers by delivering advanced solutions to optimize their existing operations and drive performance in line with their technology and site potential for amperage creep or energy reduction: Low energy pot modernizations tailored to sites ‘contexts are being implemented ; ALPSYS V15 and MESAL 4.0 have been installed at Clients’ sites with constant improvements and important innovations in both functionalities and product characteristics.
We are starting 2020 with a change of our company name which is now Rio Tinto Aluminium Pechiney. The company owns the AP Technology solutions and patents and will continue to provide you with our services and products.
I want to thank all our customers for their longstanding support. Please enjoy reading the interesting updates and news in the following pages. We also would like you to stay tuned with us during the year at our renewed website ap-technology.com where regular posts keep you informed of AP Technology™ activities.