Currently at the Industrial city of Mesaieed, in the small but rich
sheikhdom of Qatar in the Persian Gulf, the first aluminium
smelter to be built in Qatar is under construction. The customer
is Qatar Aluminium (Qatalum). Once the final extension is
completed as scheduled at the end of 2010, it will be possible to
achieve production at this facility of up to 600,000 tonnes of
aluminium a year.
Via its Business Unit Materials Handling at St. Ingbert in
Germany, ThyssenKrupp Fördertechnik (TKF) participated in the
plant construction by supplying and assembling a pipe conveyor
for handling of the raw materials. There are two materials, one is
a powdery alumina and the other a lumpy petrol coke, which are
both delivered by ship. After unloading of the bulk material by
means of pneumatic equipment at the port, the pipe conveyor
transports the material over a distance of about 1km up to the
level of the storage silos which is at an elevation of 80m; these
are situated in front of the smelter. The conveyor has been
designed for a handling capacity of 2,000tph (tonnes per hour);
the total installed power of the three drive motors’ amounts to
1,200kW. With a pipe diameter of 590mm, this conveyor
represents one of the largest pipe conveyor systems to built by
The decision in favour of a ThyssenKrupp pipe conveyor was
taken because, due to their advanced handling concept, the route
from the material feeding point at the port and the off-line
discharge point above the silo roof could be realized by one
single, continuous conveyor. The use of usually straight-running
troughed belt conveyors would have required additional transfer
points (towers) with transfer chutes and drive stations at the
bending points of the conveyor line. Furthermore, the threedimensional,
curve-type run of the pipe conveyor allows
considerably steeper ascending than with open troughed belt
conveyors. The pipe conveyor also makes the best use of the
narrow terrain strip that was available. On its route, the
conveyor spans a public road and a corridor with both gas and
oil pipelines.
The material conveyed, which is sensitive to both wind and
humidity, is optimally protected against all atmospheric influences
in the belt, which is rolled into a pipe over the entire handling
route. Consequently, additional expensive covering of the bridge
structures to protect the belt and the material were not
necessary, their installation is only provided at the transition
points of the head and tail end stations for forming and
deforming the belt into a pipe or a troughed belt.
In January 2010, after the erection of the conveyor was
completed, the first shiploads of alumina and petroleum coke
were successfully handled by the pipe conveyor.
Within a short period of time, further TKF plants of this type
will follow this first ThyssenKrupp pipe conveyor into Qatar.
Following on from the Qatalum plant, there are now two pipe
conveyors under construction for the Qafco V plant (end user is
Qatar Fertilizer Co.); and two further pipe conveyors for Qafco
VI which are still at the design stage.