BHP Billiton Limited and its subsidiary Worsley Alumina Pty Limited are continuing with construction on the $2.2bn Worsley Alumina Refinery expansion near Collie, in Western Australia.

The Worsley Alumina Refinery expansion requires a significant increase in the existing steam and electricity supply to the refinery. As a result, Worsley Alumina has joined with Thiess Pty Limited (Brisbane, Queensland) to deliver a Worsley Multi Fuel Cogeneration (Worsley MFC) project

The scope of the project includes the construction and installation of two circulating fluidised bed boilers (Boiler 5 and Boiler 6), both capable of running off coal, natural gas and biomass. Both machines will be capable of producing 550 tonnes per hour of steam, and each will be fitted with a 57 MW, back-pressure steam turbine and associated equipment.

The state-of-the-art plant will be environmentally efficient, produce fewer emissions, and have an increased fuel flexibility and availability due to its multi-fuel design.

The total cost of the multi fuel project is about $70m. The project kicked-off in May 2011, with a completion date for Boiler 5 scheduled for February 2012, while the completion date for Boiler 6 is scheduled for August 2012. When online, it will enable BHP Billiton to increase production at its adjacent Alumina Refinery, fulfilling its early 2008 plans. Construction is under way and progressing as scheduled.

The expansion will increase alumina production from 3.5 million to 4.6 million tons per year.

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