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Sulphuric Acid on the WebTM Technical Manual DKL Engineering, Inc.

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Sulphuric Acid Plant Specifications

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Acid Plant Database  October 27, 2017

Owner Foskor Richards Bay

Foskor-Logo.gif (3364 bytes)

Location Richards Bay
South Africa

1970’s - Triomf Fertilizer establishes fertilizer production at Richards Bay
          - Triomf and non-nitrogen interests of AE&CI (later to become AECI) join forces
1980’s - Triomf and AECI separate interests.  Triomf retains Richards Bay
1986 - Kynoch Fertlizers takes over the local interest of Triomf
        - Indian Ocean Fertilizer (Pty) Ltd. (IOF) takes over Richards Bay plant
1990 - Foskor becomes a shareholder in IOF

1999-2002 - Foskor obtains entire shareholding of IOF.  IOF becomes a wholly own subsidiary of Foskor.  Name changed to Foskor Richards Bay.

Website www.foskor.co.za
Plant Plant A Plant B Plant C
Coordinates* 28° 46' 21" S, 32° 2' 6" E  28° 46' 19" S, 32° 2' 7" E  28° 46' 17" S, 32° 2' 8" E
Type of Plant Sulphur Burner Sulphur Burner Sulphur Burner
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur Elemental Sulphur Elemental Sulphur
Plant Capacity Original: 1650 MTPD
Upgraded: 1800 MTPD
Original: 1650 MTPD
Upgraded: 1800 MTPD
2722 MTPD (3000 STPD)
SA/DA - - DA
Status Operating Operating Operating
Year Built 1970's 1970's 2002
Technology MECS MECS MECS 
Contractor - -

Sulphos - Joint venture formed between:
SNC-Lavalin Europe N.V.,
SNC-Lavalin International Inc.,
Monsanto South Africa (Pty) Ltd.,
Engineering Management Services (Pty) Ltd.
B.E. Morgan Associates (Pty) Ltd.






    Foskor-Richards-Bay-PFD.jpg (331599 bytes)



General As one of the world’s largest producers of phosphate and phosphoric acid, Foskor is proudly South African, but internationally focused. At Foskor, we are determined to unlock value for all our stakeholders through the profitable, responsible and sustainable beneficiation of phosphates for local and international markets.

2002 Expansion

The Indian Ocean Fertiliser Company (IOF), a subsidiary of Foskor, received final approval in 1999 to expand its Richards Bay-based phosphoric acid and granular fertiliser production plant. IOF believes that the expansion will raise the plant turnover from $120 million to $217 million. The IOF plant produces phosphoric acid mainly for export. As well as the actual fertiliser plant itself, the project also requires the construction of raw materials storage, conveyor systems, the export tank farm and utilities.

The project will take place on a brown-field site where the new facilities will be accommodated. This will require some early site works to institute a re-routing of services and the demolition of certain existing site facilities. The upgrade meets the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Traditional and Environmental Affairs' environmental approval conditions.

According to the company, the expansion had been necessitated by IOF's inability to meet demands from its growing list of international customers. IDC funding would result in a 77% increase in IOF's production capacity. The expansion project will increase Indian Ocean Fertilizer's present production capacity of 450,000 tons of phosphate per annum by 330,000 tons to around 780,000 tons per annum of phosphate.

Various services and utilities are being constructed and in some cases existing facilities are being moved or demolished to make way for the new plant. The following facilities are being constructed: a sulphuric acid plant with a capacity of 3,000 tons per day. A phosphoric acid plant with a capacity of 11,000 tons per day. Work is also being done on related infrastructure and utilities.

References www.breakbulk.com
News October 26, 2017 - Specialist heavy-lift firm Mammoet has completed transport of a cold heat exchanger column at a sulphuric acid ‘A’ plant in Richards Bay, South Africa.  The complex project involved lifting and positioning the over-dimensional column on behalf of South African phosphates and phosphoric acid producer, Foskor. Prior to transportation the old columns were removed using a 500-tonne capacity mobile crane, tailed with a 220-tonne capacity mobile crane.  “The site was extremely congested, and, due to the size of the columns, the team had to work with clearances of less than 100 millimeters,” a spokesperson for Mammoet said.  Upon arrival the new column was vertically tailed into position and then successfully installed into its final position. Mammoet is one of the oldest crane companies in the world and provides a range of heavy-lift services for breakbulk components from its headquarters in Schiedam in the Netherlands.

February 12, 2016
- At full capacity, Foskor Richards Bay is able produce per annum 2.2 million tons of sulphuric acid, 720,000 tons of phosphoric acid and 300,000 tons of granular fertiliser.  Strike action and plant failures last year left phosphates and phosphoric acid producer Foskor’s Richards Bay plant in KwaZulu-Natal with its lowest production results since it was established in 1976.  At the Mhlathuze Effluent Pipeline Forum meeting held earlier this week, Foskor Environment, Quality and Systems Superintendent Karel du Plessis said the company’s local acid division faced considerable concerns and challenges during 2015, 
Zululand Observer reported.  “Our production challenges also included major equipment replacements and failures as well as troubles with efficiency and plant balance. Production was down to 300 000 tons last year,” Du Plessis said.  At full capacity, Foskor Richards Bay is able produce per annum 2.2 million tons of sulphuric acid, 720,000 tons of phosphoric acid and 300,000 tons of granular fertiliser.  “We do, however, have a number of capital expenditure projects lined up that will increase environmental compliance, improve plant processes and boost production,”  In the short term, the company will purchase an in-plant P205 (phosphate) analyser, separate high P205 streams from clean streams, control the reactor level at 70% and analyse individual streams to the buoyant line. 

August 7, 2012 - Jacobs Engineering Group was awarded two contracts by Foskor Ltd. to design and fabricate two final acid towers and one acid cooler for Foskor’s sulfuric acid plants in Richards Bay, South Africa.  The contract value was not disclosed.  Under the terms of the deal, Jacobs is designing the equipment and process for two final acid towers using Jacobs' proprietary Chemetics alloy SARAMET.  Jacobs is also designing and fabricating a proprietary anodically-protected sulfuric acid cooler, which will be manufactured at Jacobs' facility in Pickering, Ontario, Canada.  Meanwhile, the company plans to manage local fabrication and site coordination from Jacobs' operations in South Africa.  “This project builds on a successful acid cooler replacement that Jacobs completed for Foskor in 2009,” said Jacobs vice president Andy Kremer.  “We look forward to many more opportunities to enhance Foskor's competitive advantage through superior technical solutions."  Jacobs has supplied more than 1,600 proprietary acid coolers to clients over more than 40 years, according to the company.

January 25, 2012 - Strong winds in Richards Bay have forced the immediate shut down of Foskor's sulphuric acid plant, over fears that one of its massive smoke stacks may collapse.  The company's Karen Smith says management was notified that a sulphuric stack was swaying more than usual at around 9am.  As a precautionary measure they evacuated employees at the plant off the John Ross Highway, leaving only emergency staff on duty.  Smith says the company also asked municipal emergency services to cordon off the road around Foskor and re-direct traffic going to neighbouring companies.  “The worst case scenario was that the people in Richards Bay and those surrounding the Foskor plant could probably see very low cloud cover, and they could possibly smell - there was an odour being emitted. But there's actually no real gases being emitted, the plant was completely shut down and there is no immediate danger of any environmental risk or health risk to the community or to Richards Bay at this point in time," she said.  She says the plant will remain closed until the wind subsides and when they're 100 percent certain there is no risk of harmful emissions.  According to the company's website, Foskor is one of the world's largest producers of phosphate and phosphoric acid.

November 25, 2010 - Aker Solutions has been awarded a contract for the supply of an anodically protected, proprietary sulphuric acid cooler to Foskor Ltd, one of the world's largest producers of phosphate and phosphoric acid. The acid cooler is a proprietary design of Aker Solutions and will be supplied to Foskor's phosphoric acid facility in Richards Bay, South Africa.  Aker Solutions has supplied more than 1400 proprietary acid coolers over the last 40 years. This valuable operating experience coupled with ongoing design and materials has positioned Aker Solutions' patented acid coolers at the forefront of sulphuric acid cooling technology. Developed out of the customer need to improve plant reliability and reduce plant foot print, Aker Solutions' acid coolers deliver long periods of uninterrupted plant operation; compact plant layout; vastly reduced maintenance; greatly improved acid quality and the ability to recover sizeable quantities of valuable low grade energy. The acid cooler will be manufactured at Aker Solutions' Pickering, Canada facility. Johan Cnossen, Senior Vice President, Europe, Middle East & Africa region with Aker Solutions' Process and Construction business area said, "Aker Solutions' position as the leading supplier of sulphuric acid cooling technology has emanated from our focus on every quality detail during fabrication and our understanding of the plant operators' requirements. Through our Johannesburg operation we can extend supply of this successful product into Southern Africa, whilst ensuring a strong local service."

MTPD - Metric Tonne per Day           STPD - Short Ton per Day
MTPA - Metric Tonne per Annum      STPA - Short Ton per Annum
SA - Single Absorption
DA - Double Absorption

* Coordinates can be used to locate plant on Google Earth