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

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Acid Plant Database  May 6, 2020

Owner Ma'aden Phosphate Company

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Location Ras Az Zawr
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Background The Phosphate Project will be developed in a joint venture with Saudi Arabian Mining Company (SABIC), through a limited liability company, Ma'aden Phosphate Company (MPC), incorporated in Saudi Arabia. A Joint Venture Agreement was concluded in 15 September 2007 by Ma'aden and SABIC.
Website www.maaden.com.sa 
Plant Plant No. A Plant No. B Plant No. C
Coordinates 27° 32' 13" N, 49° 11' 39" E 27° 32' 17" N, 49° 11' 39" E 27° 32' 21" N, 49° 11' 39" E
Type of Plant Sulphur Burning Sulphur Burning Sulphur Burning
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur
Refinery, Molten
Elemental Sulphur
Refinery, Molten
Elemental Sulphur
Refinery, Molten
Plant Capacity 4500 MTPD 4500 MTPD 4500 MTPD
SA/DA 3/1 DA 3/1 DA 3/1 DA
Status Operating Operating Operating
Year Built 2011 2011 2011
Technology Outotec
Contractor Consortium lead by Al-Qahtani Group
Construction: Gama International B.V. www.gama.com.tr
Remarks The Phosphate Project aims to exploit a phosphate deposit located in the Al Jalamid site and utilise local natural gas and sulphur resources to manufacture Diammonium Phosphate “DAP”. Processing facilities at the Ras Az Zawr have also been designed with the flexibility to produce Monammonium Phosphate “MAP”, should production of MAP be considered more economically viable. DAP produced by the Phosphate Project will be sold primarily into the international markets. It is anticipated that the project will also produce quantities of ammonia and phosphoric acid not required in the production process, which can be exported or sold domestically.
The Ras Az Zawr site comprises a plot of land 90 km north of Jubail on the coast of the Arabian gulf. A segment of the site is proposed to be used for the construction of the integrated chemical and fertilizer facility and related infrastructure for the Phosphate Project. Phosphate concentrate will be transported by rail from the Al Jalamid beneficiation plant to Ras Az Zawr for processing. The phosphate concentrate will be processed in a fertiliser production facility consisting of a phosphoric acid plant, a sulphuric acid plant, an ammonia plant, a DAP granulation plant, a co-generation plant and desalination plant, and other infrastructure

Plants designed to enable increase in capacity to 5000 MTPD.

Estimated cost: USD 500 million

July 2010 - Trail production started.  Plants mothballed awaiting completion of other plants in complex.
- Outotec award subcontract to Gama Industry Arabia to undertake the construction works.
June 2007 - Ma'aden sign contract with Outotec to convert contract from cost reimbursable to LSTK basis.
April 2006 - Outotec awarded a USD 270 million EPC contract to construct the plants on a reimbursable basis to be converted to a Lump Sum Turnkey (LSTK) basis.

WEG Germany has won a contract from Outotec, the global leader in sulphuric acid plant design and delivery, for a total of 21 MV motors, including slip-ring types up to 5200kW, 24 WEG transformers, six liquid rheostat starters, and project management to install and commission the package.  The equipment is being installed and commissioned in what is believed to be the World’s largest sulphuric acid production facility, currently under construction at Ras Az Zawr, in the kingdom of Saudia Arabia.  A key activity within the Ras az Zawr zone is processing of phosphates for use in fertilisers. This involves phosphate concentrate being processed in a fertiliser production facility, consisting of a phosphoric acid plant, a sulphuric acid production facility, an ammonia plant, a DAP granulation plant and co-generation and desalination plants.  When complete, the three plants will have a total production capacity of 13,500 tonnes of sulphuric acid per day.  Due to the remoteness of Ras Az Zawr, and the possibilities for issues with multiple suppliers should problems occur, Outotec insisted on single suppliers for each element of the Sulphuric Acid project.  “We didn’t have a previous track record with Outotec in Germany, but we had already done business with the company – successfully - in Brazil and Australia, although there was no specific reference to this type of plant,” said WEG general manager Energy Business, Andreas Schulte Mesum. “However, our project management single contact, allied with single supplier argument was definitely the key to our winning the bid.”   The project started in 2006, and is only today nearing completion.  To-date WEG Germany has supplied 21 medium voltage motors which are designed to provide the high levels of efficiency, reliability and long life demanded in the challenging conditions encountered in the Arabian Gulf.  The MGWs and HGF type motors are used in the boiler feed water and circulation pumps of the sulphuric acid plant. The higher power (5,200kW) MAW units are slip ring motors that drive the main blowers in the plant. WEG decided to use slip ring motors controlled by liquid rheostat starters for this application as the blower inertia was large and starting current was an issue. The benefit of starting the main blowers in this way is that the customer can easily control the starting current of the blowers, at the same time handling the very high torques involved.  In addition to the motors and starters, a total of 24 WEG transformers are used to supply and condition electricity to all types of equipment across the whole SA plant, including the WEG MV motors. In common with the MV motors the WEG transformers are designed for use in some of the most demanding operating conditions worldwide in hydro electric plants, desalination systems, oil and gas installations, mining, marine and many more.   In terms of project support, WEG was active during the project management stage at Ras Az Zawr, managing three different suppliers, and also co-ordinated with Outotec to ensure that several technical modifications required by the main contractor were actioned promptly and with the required level of customer support. Oschatz Waste Heat Boilers
Steam Production: ~235 t/h
Pressure: 65 barg
Superheat Temperature: 480oC



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Construction Photos
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Oschatz boiler

Ma'aden was formed as a Saudi joint stock company on 23 March 1997 (corresponding to 14/11/1417H) for the purpose of facilitating the development of Saudi Arabia’s mineral resources.
To date Ma'aden's activities have focused on its active gold business which has grown in recent years to include the operation of five gold mines: Mahd Ad Dahab, Al Hajar, Sukhaybarat, Bulghah, and Al Amar.
Ma'aden is now expanding its activities beyond its gold business with the development of its Phosphate Project, Aluminium Project, and Other Projects.
In addition, since its formation, Ma'aden (through the Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources) has collaborated with the Government and local legislators to develop a regulatory framework for the governance of the mining industry in Saudi Arabia.

References Construction Photos: www.gama.com.tr

July 17, 2011 - Saudi Arabian Mining Co. (Ma’aden) said Sunday its profit doubled in the second quarter.  Ma’aden made a net profit of SR62.5 million ($16.7 million) in the three months to end-June, compared to SR31.2 million in the same period a year earlier.  Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the firm to post, on average, net profit of SR44.98 million for the second quarter.  Meanwhile, banks signed commitment letters on the debt for Ma’aden and Alcoa’s $3.6 billion bauxite mine and alumina refinery in Saudi Arabia on June 29. The deal was four times oversubscribed and debt pricing is around 20bp inside the smelter deal, reflecting the banks’ liquidity.  Ma’aden Phosphate Co. (MPC) has started initial production at its 3m ton/year diammonium phosphate (DAP) plant, a company source said earlier.  The unit, in Ras Az Zawr, started production on June 17, alongside initial production at sulphuric acid and phosphoric acid lines at the same site.   It is expected production rates will be ramped up continuously but there are no indications when full rates might be achieved.  Commercial production from the unit is expected during the third quarter, the source said.

June 19, 2011 - Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Maaden) has said its phosphate joint venture with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) started initial production on Friday.   “Maaden announces that Maaden Phosphate Company (MPC) has started initial production from the first production lines of sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid for captive use and Diammonium Phoshate Fertilizer (DAP),” Maaden said in a statement.  SABIC owns 30 percent in the joint venture, while Maaden holds the remainder.  The joint venture will produce about three million tons per year of DAP when it reaches full production. This represents more than 10 percent of current global demand, the statement said.  The $5.5 billion joint venture remains on course to be completed on budget.  SABIC will market 77 percent of production with the remainder marketed by Maaden.  “This is the first of Ma’aden’s mega projects to become operational and when in full commercial production will considerably enhance Ma’aden’s revenue profile,” commented Khalid Al Mudaifer, president and CEO of Ma’aden.  “The successful development of MPC proves how such integrated minerals based projects can create value for shareholders, sustainable employment opportunities and regional development in the Kingdom.”  He said: “This complex operation is the largest fully integrated phosphate fertilizer project in the word and will place the Kingdom among the world leaders of the phosphate industry.”  He added: “We are all proud that in addition to building this world scale operation in full compliance with the highest health, safety and environmental standards, an outstanding organization has been built with best in class processes and systems supported by state of the art computerized management systems. Of MPC’s 1,200 employees more than 60 percent in operations and 70 percent in management are Saudi. More than 350 Saudi high school leavers and fresh graduates have been trained and developed to operate this complex. The production of the Kingdom’s first diammonium phosphate fertilizer is the realization of years of dedication and hard work by the all the teams involved.”  He praises the government’s support for the Kingdom’s mining industry through the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Public Investment Fund and Saudi Arabian Railways and the inclusion of the mining sector’s needs in national infrastructure development plans.  MPC includes a phosphate mine and beneficiation plant at Al Jalamid in the north of Saudi Arabia and a processing complex at Ras Az Zawr on the Kingdom’s East coast consisting of four plants producing sulphuric acid, ammonia, phosphoric acid and, DAP respectively.   The two sites are linked by a new 1,500 km railroad and supported by extensive infrastructure including a new port at Ras Az Zawr.  Maaden has five operating gold mines in Saudi Arabia, two further industrial minerals operations and is constructing a $10.8 billion integrated aluminum joint venture with Alcoa.  The company has more than 11 million ounces of gold resources in its license areas and is carrying out extensive exploration in the Kingdom to grow its existing projects and expand its minerals portfolio.

January 5, 2011 - Saudi Arabia has deferred to the second quarter of this year plans to start trial operations at a railway designed to transport phosphate and bauxite ore, Saudi Press Agency reported Wednesday, citing a senior rail official.   Saudi Railway Co. (SAR) has so far executed 1,213 kilometers of the 1,486 kilometers railway, said Mansour Bin Saleh Al-Maiman, the firm’s chairman, according to SPA.  Al Maiman gave no reason for the delay, from the end of 2010.  SAR has previously said the line, which will serve projects developed by Saudi Arabian Mining Co. with Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and US aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. (AA), is expected to be in operation by the end of 2010.  The planned railway will link the phosphate mine at Al-Jalamid and the bauxite mine at Az Zabirah to the processing facilities at Ras Azzour, on the Gulf coast.   Maaden is doubling capacity at its Saudi fertilizer plant to 6 million metric tons a year. It will use phosphate from a deposit at Al Jalamid and local gas and sulfur supplies to manufacture the fertilizer diammonium phosphate (DAP).  Maaden is also developing a fully integrated complex refinery with Alcoa, which will be the world’s lowest-cost supplier of primary aluminum, alumina and aluminum products.  Processing facilities at the Ras Az Zawr have also been designed with the flexibility to produce Monammonium Phosphate “MAP”, should production of MAP be considered more economically viable. DAP produced by the phosphate project will be sold primarily into the international markets. It is anticipated that the project will also produce quantities of ammonia and phosphoric acid not required in the production process, which can be exported or sold domestically.  The Al-Jalamid site comprises a phosphate mine, beneficiation plant and supporting infrastructure and encompasses an area of approx. 50 km². Mine production is expected to average approximately 12 mtpy of ore and beneficiation facilities at Al-Jalamid will be scheduled to produce an estimated 5 mtpy of flotation concentrate on a dry basis. Ma’aden’s measured phosphate resources at Al-Jalamid are estimated to be 534 mt. It is proposed to mine 223 mt for the phosphate project over its initial planned life of operations. A substantial amount of industrial infrastructure will be developed at the Al-Jalamid site to support mining and beneficiation operations. This includes power plant, potable water production, treatment and distribution, roads and telecommunications.  The Ras Az Zawr site comprises a plot of land 90km north of Jubail on the coast of the Gulf.

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