Operational improvements

Hydro announced in March 2018 an investment of NOK 500 million (R$ 200 million) to increase water treatment capacity at Alunorte, to meet a more wet climate going forward.

Felipe Picanço and Jerônimo Coutinho are part of the team that is carrying out improvements at the refinery. Photo: Led Produções

An internal workgroup was formed shortly after the heavy rainfall in February 2018. The task force should identify immediate actions to improve water treatment capacity at the refinery.

Actions included installation of barriers against potential overflow of the old Solid Bauxite Residue Deposit basins and the treatment station, so that they could receive additional quantities of rain, while maintaining the free boards during the rainy period. In parallel, Alunorte installed mobile and temporary pumps in several strategic points to control the water.

The controls and monitoring of indicators such as pH, turbidity and temperature were reviewed.

The project began in April 2018. Most of the work will be carried out during the course of 2018, with the project expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2019. 

The project will:

  • Increase the water storage capacity by approximately 70,000 m³
  • Increase and ensure the pumping capacity during heavy rainfall
  • Increase the robustness of the control system and install the interlock to prevent any discharge of effluents outside the specifications


Alunorte employees explain how the internal group carries out its work, with responsibility for the improvements based on the challenges faced. Watch it here:


Updated: July 19, 2018