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Sulphuric Acid - NEWS
Updated January 4, 2012

2011

Bosnian Town
Aditya Birla to invest $500 mln to setup VSF plant
Acid Tankers
Xstrata Copper's Site Decommissioning Project in Canada Receives Prestigious Engineering Award

Namibia Custom Smelters to supply sulphuric acid to uranium industry

Gecko Namibia is prepared to invest R12bn

Mosaic Co's quarterly profit
Qatar looks to become major player in sulphur industry
CER Signs $9.9 Million (US) Contract with Beijing Guodian Longyuan Environmental Engineering Co., Ltd
Mopani to spend $80m on capturing sulphur emissions
ICIS Pricing Launches Regional Report for Sulphuric Acid
Russian Copper Company is investing 4.5 billion rubles in construction of the new facility at Karabashmed, CJSC
Freeport to pay $150,000 over acid spill at Morenci mine

EIB grants Tunisia 140m-euro loan
Outotec to deliver gas cleaning and sulfuric acid plant technology to Uzbekistan

Late July trial set for $1M suit over toxicity report
Serbia will have the most modern copper mine in Europe
Haldor Topsøe inks engineering deal for Rio Seco wet-gas sulfuric acid plant in Peru
SABIC, Maaden JV starts initial production
Tunisia /GCT: Fertilizer production back to normal in June
IFFCO to expand capacity in Paradip unit
Outotec to deliver copper flash smelting technology to Iran
Mississippi Flooding
Chemtrade Logistics buys Marsulex
Kazakh Activists Block Rail Tracks In Sulfur Protest
Certificate of discovery filed in $1M toxicity report suit
SA firm to invest $1.8bn in Namibia
Chemtrade to expand acid production capacity
Chemetics Inc.
Bulgarian Lead Smelter Ordered to Close Because of Pollution
Planned upgrade to Agrium plant to cut SO2 emissions by a third
Certificate of discovery filed in $1M toxicity report suit  
Outotec to deliver an effluent treatment plant for Codelco in Chile
Epoxy withstands harsh, acidic environments
MMC Norilsk Nickel will decrease emissions considerably
Ontario Northland Transportation Commission fined
Chambishi Smelter embarks on US$250m expansion programme
Tronox Exits Bankruptcy - Without Savannah Plant
Jacobs Completes Acquisition of Majority of Aker Solutions' Process & Construction Business
Cytec Sells Basics Unit To Private Equity Firm
Shell and Khalid Cement to develop sulphur concrete
DuPont Completes Acquisition of MECS
Gasco awards contracts worth Dh4b

2010   2009   2008   2007   2006   2005    2004   2003    2002   2001    2000   1999    1998

 

 

Bosnian Town

 

December 30, 2011 - Residents of a central Bosnian town have been told to not to go outside because of a dangerously high level of air pollution.  The sulphur dioxide in Zenica is three times above the European Union limit.  Unusually low winds are being blamed for not dispersing the gas, and companies operating in the area have been told to cut down their emissions.  Zenica city hall official Muhamed Pasic reported the findings: “For three days in a row, the readings at our air quality measurement station have been showing the concentration of sulphur dioxide in the air is 400 micrograms per cubic metre,” he said.  Zenica officials claim steel company ArcelorMittal is the “greatest polluter” in the industrial town.  Samir Lemes from Eco Forum Zenica said ArcelorMittal had only met just above a fifth of its 100 million US dollar contractual obligation for protecting the environment, due by 2010.  Sulphur dioxide is produced by burning coal which happens at many of the town’s plants. Breathing it in is bad for respiratory health – aggravating asthma and sometimes causing bronchitis.

 

Aditya Birla to invest $500 mln to setup VSF plant

December 30, 2011 - US$35 billion multinational corporation plans to set up viscose staple fibre plant in Turkey's Adana Organised Industrial Zone.  Aditya Birla Group has decided to invest US$500 million to set up a 180 ktpa fully integrated Viscose staple fibre plant with a captive power plant, CS2 plant and sulphuric acid plant, the company release said.  The US$35 billion multinational corporation has planned to set up a viscose staple fibre plant in Turkey’s Adana Organised Industrial Zone.  The group plans to make an investment of US$500 million over the next five years. The viscose staple fibre plant will come up in two phases.  The plant will cater primarily to domestic market and the group will export around 20% of the VSF produced in Turkey to other neighbouring countries and also to European union.   Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group said, “In the Viscose Staple Fibre sector, we are reckoned as a marquee Group with over 21% of the global market share. For us in the Aditya Birla Group, VSF is a core business.”  He added,  “Our aspiration is to significantly ramp up our global market share and our capacities by the turn of the decade. Establishing a world-class plant in Turkey is a step in this direction.”  Meanwhile, K.K. Maheshwari, the Global Director of the VSF Business, said, “Currently our VSF manufacturing capacity is 750 ktpa. Our ambition is to raise it to 1.1 million tonne by 2015.” Mr. Maheswari also said, “We expect to commission our plant in Turkey by early 2015. This capacity in Turkey will cater primarily to the textile industries here.”  He also said,  “At present, 100% of VSF used in the textile and non-woven sectors is imported. Turkey, I believe is the 4th largest consumer of VSF in the world. It is expected to become the 2nd largest consumer over the next 5 years. So setting up the VSF manufacturing facility here makes imminent sense.  The group’s pulp and fibre operations spans countries like Canada, Sweden, Thailand, Indonesia, China and India. The company is working on a 120 ktpa greenfield project at Vilayat in Gujarat and a 36 ktpa Brownfield expansion at Harihar in Karnataka. The group is investing $450 million in these projects.  The Aditya Birla Group operates in 36 countries and is ranked number 4 in the global top companies for leaders and number 1 in Asia in a survey conducted by Aon Hewitt, Fortune Magazine and RBL in 2011. It has a market cap of US $29 billion.

 

 

Acid Tankers

 

December 7, 2011 - Walvis Bay — Fifteen acid tankers that were upgraded at TransNamib Holdings were returned to Rio Tinto's Rössing uranium mine on Monday.  The tankers are used by the mine to transport sulphuric acid from the Walvis Bay harbour for its ore processing.  Rössing is the largest user of sulphuric acid in Namibia.  A total of 21 wagons were taken by TransNamib earlier this year to be revamped to meet local and international quality and safety standards.  It was decided last year by the mine and TransNamib that the tankers' condition had become substandard, according to TransNamib's chief operations officer, Charles Funda.  The six remaining tankers are undergoing a strict inspection before they are handed back to Rössing. The upgrade project cost nearly N$8 million.  Rössing has a total of 43 acid tankers, of which 24 transport acid daily from the harbour, where the acid is stored after being imported from overseas suppliers, to the mine.  The safe transport of acid is a "top priority", said Rössing's chief operations officer, Mpho Mothoa.  According to him, there were accidents in the past which involved acid tankers. "But we managed to keep the impacts to a minimum," he said.  Walvis Bay mayor Derek Klazen said the upgrade of transport infrastructure is crucial to development, as it creates confidence among investors in Namibia's ability to offer safe and reliable services.

 

Xstrata Copper's Site Decommissioning Project in Canada Receives Prestigious Engineering Award

 

November 10, 2011 - Xstrata Copper Canada is pleased to announce that consulting engineering firm Genivar won the prestigious 2011 Schreyer Award at this year's Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards for its role in the decommissioning of our former Gaspé copper mining and smelting site located in Murdochville, Quebec. On awarding Genivar the event's most coveted recognition, the jury noted that the rehabilitation of the 50-year old Gaspé site had "set a benchmark for future mine decommissioning projects."  The decommissioning of the former Gaspé copper mining and smelting site, the largest project of its kind in Canada, took four years and was completed in 2010 at a total cost of CA$130 million. In accordance with Xstrata's commitment to sustainable development, the project aimed to return healthy and safe land to local stakeholders, enabling them to pursue new opportunities for development.  The mine and smelting site housed around 40 buildings, including two concentrators, the copper smelter, a sulphuric acid plant, conveyors, garages, storage facilities and administrative offices. As such, the project involved the rehabilitation of 650,000 square metres of land (the equivalent of 80 Canadian football fields); the removal of seven kilometres of electrical transmission lines; and the construction of 240 metres of channels for water management.  The project also included the rehabilitation of surface soils at 736 properties in the town of Murdochville and in the port area of Gaspé, where copper concentrate was transloaded and stored before treatment.  "Even though the numbers tell the technical story, the decommissioning was first and foremost a human experience," said Jacques Moulins, General Manager, Environment, Site Rehabilitation and Resources Conservation for Xstrata Copper Canada.  "We were committed to ensuring that the communities involved in the project understood the work we were undertaking and we maintained regular contact with both residents and local authorities."  "Throughout the decommissioning process we held open house sessions for local stakeholders; published regular community bulletins; and implemented a dedicated community telephone line. We also met with each individual property owner to plan remediation work and ensure they were satisfied with the end result."  With such a large and complex program to execute, the health and safety of the 250 workers involved remained a top priority for both companies. A comprehensive health, safety and emergency response programme, resulted in an exemplary safety performance with no lost-time injuries for the duration of the project, which totalled over 670,400 person-hours.  "At the end of our journey, I believe our success was the result of Xstrata's clear commitment to sustainable practices, the dedication of the Xstrata Copper and Genivar teams to find sustainable solutions and liaise with local stakeholders, and the continued support of the local communities and authorities," concluded Mr. Moulins.  For more details about the Schreyer-winning project in this month's Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine: http://www.canadianconsultingengineer.com/issues/de.aspx.

 

Namibia Custom Smelters to supply sulphuric acid to uranium industry

October 28, 2011 - Namibia Custom Smelters (NCS) is currently in talks with big players in the uranium industry which could result in the company supplying sulphuric acid to uranium producers. The plant will cost between N$800 million and N$900 million to build and is expected to be completed by 2014.
Hans Nolte, managing director of NCS, says Dundee Precious Metals (the parent company of NCS) has big plans for the smelter. He said the company envisions to have a world class facility and also to comply with environmental standards.
“The Chelopech mine has at least another 12 to 15 year life span and we would like to diversify our sources before we have a situation where the mine closes and we do not have other sources of copper. This is what happened when Otjihase and Matchless closed,” said Nolte this week during an interview with the Economist.
Namibia Custom Smelters is TransNamib’s biggest customer in northern Namibia and spends almost US$6 million monthly on shipping and handling. Another N$5 million is paid to Nampower each month for electricity. The smelter also buys more than 6 500 tons of charcoal per year from the local farming community for its furnaces.
The first results of an ongoing environmental impact assessment of the smelter recently showed that sulphur dioxide emissions exceed international guidelines in some areas, while concentrations of lead and cadmium released into the atmosphere fall below international exposure guidelines.
According to Nolte, the industrial area  is one of the most affected areas in Tsumeb as far as sulphur dioxide emissions are concerned. This is very dependent on weather patterns. He said the company has monitoring stations in place in and around the town which measures dust fallout and sulphur dioxide.
“Low quantities of sulphur dioxide are being emitted but it is not causing cancer or any other diseases. It affects people in that it has a distinct odour and it could  also affect those who have Asthma,” said Nolte.
Regarding claims that workers are exposed to cancer-related illnesses due to high arsenic levels in imported copper, he said a number of medical doctors from South Africa and USA were appointed to conduct a survey among employees and residents of Tsumeb.
According to the findings of these experts, people could be negatively affected if exposed to arsenic for extended periods but not over a short term, Nolte said.
Government is now in charge of setting up a team of doctors who will investigate whether these claims are true.
“We’ve set up a medical tribunal but due to political influence, people felt that the tribunal would not be fair. Government has now taken over this task and we are more than happy to accept the results of this investigation,” Nolte added.
The company also employs a full-time occupational health nurse and a full-time environmental management specialist to oversee the health, hygiene and environmental programmes at the smelter. These include intensive biological surveillance schemes for employees and extensive air, water and soil monitoring/measuring initiatives.
In order to adequately deal with the impact the smelter has on the environment, Dundee Precious Metals initiated several projects to improve conditions at the town.
These include a disposal site where products containing arsenic can be stored - it is expected to be completed by end December 2011, two new baghouses are currently being constructed to improve the filtering of gasses at the smelter which is expected to be in working condition by August next year.
NCS currently employs 527 workers and 280 permanent contractors. Dundee has thus far invested N$140 million in environmental projects at the smelter.

Gecko Namibia is prepared to invest R12bn

 

October 23, 2011 - Cape Town - Gecko Namibia is prepared to invest R12bn in an industrial park to the north of Swakopmund to ensure that the country derives maximum benefit from the increasing mining of uranium.  But the project could cause an environmental uproar in the country (see report elsewhere on the page).  In particular, Gecko wants to be involved in producing the reagents (sulphuric acid and alkaline chemicals) required by uranium, electricity and water desalination projects.  The plants Gecko envisages establishing in the industrial park for heavy industry include those for sulphuric acid, soda ash, a plant for leaching agents, phosphoric acid, a desalination plant and a port for importing and exporting large commodities in bulk.  According to Gecko's explanatory document all the chemical substances required for exploiting uranium in Namibia are currently imported through the Walvis Bay harbour and then conveyed to the mines in large trucks. As new mines open it is expected that the demand for these materials will increase threefold and Walvis Bay will not be able to handle the volume.  The group expects the acid plant to produce 1.2m tonnes of acid a year from 400 000 tonnes of sulphur. This sulphur will be imported through the envisaged new port. Storage facilities for the sulphur will also need to be constructed.  Other plants envisaged include a soda plant to produce 250 000 tonnes of soda ash and 225 000 tonnes of bicarbonate a year. To this end 650 000 tonnes of salt and 650 000 tonnes of marble will be required, as well as 70 000 tonnes of coal.  The salt and marble will be transported to the plant by road while the coal will be imported through the proposed harbour.
Every year 90 000 tonnes of a by-product, caustic soda, will be manufactured.  Phosphate minerals and sulphuric acid are required to produce phosphoric acid. In 2009 the Gecko Group acquired the rights to exploit phosphates on the ocean floor along the Namibian coast. Gecko expects to produce three million tonnes of phosphoric acid a year.  The construction of a new port is deemed necessary because the Walvis Bay harbour currently handles around 1.2m tonnes of bulk freight and the proposed development requires 6m tonnes of capacity. Preparations will also be needed for handling so-called “clean” and “hazardous” commodities.  Apart from the financial benefits the project will bring Namibia, it will also create jobs. For the developmental phase of the industrial park 11 250 jobs are in prospect, and after completion of the project there will be around 2 470 permanent job opportunities.  State revenue from the project is estimated to be N$588m by 2017 and by 2023 this should rise to N$1.434bn.  Gecko’s management has indicated that, if it can be proved beyond any doubt that the projected project will be injurious to people and the natural environment, the company will not proceed with it.  The proposed development plan was announced in August and now management is waiting for government to indicate which of the proposed sites can be used to establish such an industrial park.  Gecko is on the point of undertaking a detailed expert environmental impact study over a 12-month period.

Mosaic Co's quarterly profit

 

September 28, 2011 - Mosaic Co's quarterly profit widely missed Wall Street's expectations as the fertilizer producer continues to be hampered by higher costs.  Mosaic last week reported its net income and revenue numbers, and on Wednesday it affirmed those numbers and provided more detail.  For the fiscal first quarter ended Aug. 31, Mosaic reported net income of $526 million, or $1.17 per share, compared with $297.7 million, or 67 cents per share, a year earlier.  Analysts expected earnings of $1.29 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.  It was not immediately clear how comparable the two numbers were, given that Mosaic had several one-time items that cut profit by $26 million.  Overall, the results showed that higher costs continue to erode Mosaic's profitability, even during a time of record food demand.  The company's cost of sulfur and ammonia, two important materials used to make fertilizer, jumped 41 percent and 54 percent, respectively, between quarters.   Jim Prokopanko, Mosaic's chief executive officer, said he remains bullish and expects "continued strong demand for crop nutrients."  "Farmers will strive for higher yields to generate the record harvests required over the next several years," he said in a statement. "We believe phosphate and potash application will be critical to generate these record harvests."  Phosphate and potash are the second- and third-most important fertilizers, respectively, for farmers to apply, after nitrogen.  Mosaic's revenue increased 41 percent to $3.1 billion during the first fiscal quarter. Analysts expected $2.92 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.  For the fiscal second quarter, Mosaic expects to sell 1.7 million to 2.1 million tonnes of potash. In the first fiscal quarter Mosaic sold 1.8 million tonnes of potash.  For the same period Mosaic expects to sell 3.1 million to 3.5 million tonnes of phosphate. Mosaic sold 3.2 million tonnes in the first fiscal quarter.

Qatar looks to become major player in sulphur industry

September 21, 2011 - Qatar is aiming to cement its position in the global sulphur industry with its exports poised to hit 2.6mn tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2019.  “More sulphur supplies will be needed to support the increasing phosphate demand over the next five years,” Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, Sulphur marketing director at Tasweeq, told the 2nd Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association’s Fertiliser convention, which concluded in Doha yesterday.  Total global sulphur consumption was estimated to be around 68mn tonnes in 2010 where the production of phosphoric acid accounted for 49% of all sulphur used, while 87% was used for fertiliser, with the remainder in non-fertiliser applications, al-Sulaiti said.  “Qatar’s growing dominance in sulphur production and exports with the expected exports reaching 2.6 mtpa by 2019. With an expanding portfolio of clients across the globe, Qatar is projected to be a major player in the sulphur industry,” he stressed.

CER Signs $9.9 Million (US) Contract with Beijing Guodian Longyuan Environmental Engineering Co., Ltd

 

August 22, 2011 - China Energy Recovery Inc., an international leader in the design, fabrication and installation of waste heat recovery systems, announced today that it signed a contract with Beijing Guodian Longyuan Environmental Engineering Co., Ltd to design, manufacture and install a HRS system of acid making for an organic amine flue gas desulfurization project located in Guizhou province.  The contract is valued at RMB63.5 million or $USD 9.9 million. The system, which is scheduled to be completed in second quarter of 2012, will be capable of producing 17.8 tons of steam-per-hour and 43.75 tons of sulfuric acid-per-hour.  "We are glad to see more and more new customers choosing CER to build and install a heat recovery system." CER Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Qinghuan Wu said, "Beijing Guodian is a pioneer which goes into pollution control of electric environment. CER is looking forward to having much more cooperation with this kind of company on the electric field."

 

Mopani to spend $80m on capturing sulphur emissions

August 15, 2011 - Zambian copper miner Mopani has invested a further $80-million in gas-capture equipment and a second sulphuric acid plant aimed at capturing some 97% of sulphur dioxide by 2015.  CEO Emmanuel Mutati said on Monday the company was moving into the last phase of work, meeting the commitments agreed with the Zambian government.   The sulphur-capture equipment is being installed as part of a general modernisation of the smelting complex, with new emissions capture equipment installed as each phase of the plant renewal is completed.  The sulphur-capture equipment installed to date currently captures about 50 % of all sulphur dioxide emissions from the smelting complex.  This equipment, the first at Mopani since the facility was first constructed in the 1930s, was installed together with the new ISA smelter and matte settling furnace.  “The redevelopment of Mopani has been one of the toughest engineering challenges ever tackled in Zambia, but we have made great progress towards our goal of creating a world-class operation.  "We have increased production, secured employment, and significantly reduced sulphur dioxide emissions that had been ongoing for decades before privatization,” said Mutati.  Mopani is owned by Carlisa Investments Corporation, in which Glencore International owns a 73.1% stake and First Quantum Minerals and the Zambian government minority interests.

 

ICIS Pricing Launches Regional Report for Sulphuric Acid

 

August 12, 2011 - ICIS pricing, the leading price reporting service for the global chemical industry, has leveraged off its local Chinese operations to launch a weekly Asia Sulphuric Acid report with comprehensive coverage of the complex and constantly-evolving Chinese market, and additional commentary on Japanese and Korean exports.   The new report covers sulphuric acid prices for FOB China, CFR Southeast Asia and CFR India, including contract price assessments based on CFR Northeast and Southeast Asia. Apart from sulphuric acid pricing trends, the report also offers up-to-date commentary with market updates, Japanese and Korean exports, supply and demand trends, production news from the region including metal markets, price trends for related metals, freight rates and schedules, as well as some coverage of both the upstream and the downstream markets.  Gabriela Wheeler, markets editor of the Asia sulphuric acid report, believes ICIS is in an excellent position to offer a comprehensive analysis of the Asian market situation owing to its extensive portfolio and years of expertise covering the chemical and fertilizers industry; and further strengthened by its well-established ICIS/Pentasul and ICIS/Chemease China resources.  "We are confident that our new sulphuric acid report will fill the current void of information as there are no other publications focusing specifically on regional sulphuric acid trade in Asia.  "Given the recent increase in base metals prices, global sulphuric acid demand for metal leaching has intensified and is expected to continue growing during the next several years; and strong fertilizer prices have also led to an increase in demand for sulphuric acid used in the production of phosphate fertilizers.  "Additionally, China is preparing to become a major player in the sulphuric acid export arena, and market participants are very interested in finding out information about developments within the Chinese industry, which we intend to cover as well," she said.  ICIS pricing's extensive coverage of the chemical markets gives you the comprehensive detail along with the bigger picture you need to better understand Asia's sulphuric acid markets.  Request a sample copy of the ICIS Asia Sulphuric Acid report now from ICIS pricing at http://www.icis.com/AsiaSulphuricAcid or by emailing sales.ap@icis.com.

 

Russian Copper Company is investing 4.5 billion rubles in construction of the new facility at Karabashmed, CJSC

 

August 8, 2011 - In December 2013, Karabashmed, CJSC, is going to launch its new sulfuric acid treatment shop. The Russian Copper Company intends to invest 4.5 billion rubles in its construction.  The new facility will make it possible to achieve complete utilization of sulfurous anhydride. The first facility, which provided recovery of sulfurous anhydride for the further production of sulfuric acid, using the "wet catalysis" technology, and was equipped by the Haldor Topsoe Company, was put into operation at Karabashmed in 2005.  In addition to the construction of the sulfuric acid treatment shop, the first stage of the smelter renovation started in 2010 includes installation of the rotary sump furnace and new Kumera converters, construction of the second oxygen plant, assembly of units for gas treatment of converter waste gases and a gas cooler for the Ausmelt furnace.  The Press Service of the Russian Copper Company has informed "RusBusinessNews" that the upgrading will increase the output of Karabashmed to 120 thousand tons of blister copper and 650 thousand tons of sulfuric acid a year.

 

Freeport to pay $150,000 over acid spill at Morenci mine

July 20, 2011 - Freeport-McMoRan Morenci Inc. has agreed to a $150,000 settlement for releasing 168,000 gallons of sulfuric acid and heavy metals from a pipeline into Lower Chase Creek, a tributary of the San Francisco River. This is according to a statement  released last week by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Arizona General’s Office.  According to the AQEQ  Freeport-McMoRan will pay a $75,000 penalty and complete a supplemental environmental project valued at $75,000 as part of a consent judgment in Maricopa County Superior Court for water quality violations caused by the Oct. 30, 2008, spill from its Morenci copper mine in Greenlee County.

 

EIB grants Tunisia 140m-euro loan

 

July 19, 2011 - The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a loan of 140 million euros to Tunisia for the construction of a fertilizer plant in Mdhilla by the Tunisian Chemical Group (GCT), the world’s fourth largest producer of phosphates, according to a statement from the bank.  The statement said the completion of the project would allow the country to producing sulfuric and phosphoric acid to increase the production of the triple superphosphate fertilizer plant.   The project will also create 1,400 jobs during the construction phase and 400 direct jobs when completed.  The plant will be built near the phosphate mines in line with environmental standards.  The statement said the phosphate industry accounts for 2.6 percent of GDP in Tunisia and generates additional exports revenue for the country

 

Outotec to deliver gas cleaning and sulfuric acid plant technology to Uzbekistan

July 18, 2011 - Outotec has signed a contract with OJSC Almalyk Mining & Metallurgical Company (AMMC) for the design and delivery of a gas cleaning and sulfuric acid plant to AMMC's existing copper production facilities, located near Almalyk, Uzbekistan. The contract is valued at approximately EUR 30 million.  The scope of Outotec's delivery includes process technology design, detail engineering, procurement and the supply of proprietary equipment, including all acid resistant parts made of Edmeston SX material. In addition, Outotec will also provide advisory services for construction and commissioning to the overall project scope. The overall project is expected to be completed within 32 months. The new acid plant complex will produce approximately 500,000 tonnes of sulfuric acid annually.  One of the key priorities for AMMC, a government-owned entity and the country's sole copper producer, was to substantially improve the environmental conditions of the region where the facilities are located. In the new solution, the off-gases of the existing copper plant will first be treated and cleaned in a gas cleaning unit before they are further processed in a new sulfuric acid plant.  "Outotec's expertise in the minerals processing and metallurgical plants as well as track record as the leading provider of sulfuric acid technology with more than 600 plants delivered worldwide were important aspects to winning the contract. The use of Edmeston SX material - special stainless steel designed especially for acid plants - has further strengthened our competiveness thanks to the acquisition of Edmeston last year. We are looking forward to working with AMMC to provide the appropriate environmental solutions. This is also our first sulfuric acid plant project in the CIS in many years and we are excited about further opportunities in this growing market", notes Outotec's President and CEO Pertti Korhonen.

 

Late July trial set for $1M suit over toxicity report

 
July 11, 2011 - A case alleging a pair of chemical testing companies falsified levels of toxic contaminants will most likely go to trial later this month.  Seeking more than $1 million in damages, Martin Product Sales filed suit against Camin Cargo Control and Chemtex Environmental Laboratory on Dec. 19, 2008, in Jefferson County District Court.   The case's presiding judge, Judge Bob Wortham of the 58th District Court, told the Southeast Texas Record on Monday that the case will most likely go to trial on July 25, since it doesn't appear that the parties are close to reaching a settlement.  Court records show Martin sold 1,400 metric tons of sulfuric acid after Camin and Chemtex allegedly falsely reported there were no undesirable contaminants in the sulfuric acid.   Martin had planned to sell 1,400 metric tons of sulfuric acid and hired Camin to sample, analyze and test the sulfuric acid to reveal whether it contained appreciable levels of commercially undesirable contaminants, such as highly toxic mercury, and to reveal any contaminants it did find.  Only after delivering the contaminated sulphuric acid to its customers did Martin Product Sales learn of the incorrect certification, the suit states.  Martin Product Sales claims it has sustained direct and consequential damages of at least $1.35 million.  The suit alleges Camin and Chemtx breached their contract and warranties by failing to properly sample, test and analyze the sulfuric acid.  Ronald L. White and Salvatore P. LoPiccolo II of White, MacKillop and Gallant in Houston are representing the plaintiff.  The defendants are represented by Beaumont attorneys Don Lighty and Bill Richey.

 

Serbia will have the most modern copper mine in Europe

July 1, 2011 - Balkans reported that Mr Nebojsa Ciric Serbian minister of economy and regional development and Mr Oliver Dulic minister of environment, mining and spatial planning, were present when the foundation stone was laid marking the beginning of construction of a new smeltery and a sulphuric acid factory at the mining and metallurgical complex RTB Bor.  Mr Ciric recalled that besides investing in the smeltery, the government this year invested more than EUR 30 million in mines in Bor and Majdanpek as well as signed an agreement on the construction of new copper flotation lines in these two towns.  He announced that works to revive Cerovo copper mine near Bor are to begin soon and once they are completed, Serbia will have the most modern copper mine in Europe which will hire young people and experts from the entire Serbia. The construction of the new facilities will cost EUR 135 million and these funds will be procured from a loan allocated by the Canadian EDC Bank. Guarantees were provided by the Serbian government.  Mr Ciric said that the new smelting plant should be finished by 2014, adding that the contractor company is Energoprojekt, while the copper smeltery will be built by Canadian company SNC Lavalin.  Mr Dulic underlined that the new smelting plant will operate according to EU standards and this town will stop being the black ecological spot of Serbia. With the construction of a new sulfuric acid plant, 98.5% of sulfur dioxide will be refined into sulfuric acid. The this percentage at the moment is only 30%. With the new smelting plant and the current price of copper on the stock exchange, RTB Bor could start making up to USD 1 billion per year.  He said that this is the biggest investment in mining and the Serbian government is planning to invest EUR 3 billion in this sector in the course of next year.

 

Haldor Topsøe inks engineering deal for Rio Seco wet-gas sulfuric acid plant in Peru

June 30, 2011 - Haldor Topsøe signed a contract to build of a wet-gas sulfuric acid (WSA) plant for the production of sulfuric acid at Rio Seco’s new industrial operation in Peru.  Haldor Topsøe signed a contract to build of a wet-gas sulfuric acid (WSA) plant for the production of sulfuric acid at Rio Seco’s new industrial operation in Peru.  The WSA plant is a multi-flexible unit that will both clean the H2S off-gases from an MnSO4 leaching process and burn elemental sulfur to make industrial grade sulphuric acid, the company said.   The WSA plant can operate on 100% H2S gas, 100% elemental sulfur and on any combination hereof, officials said.  Topsøe will supply all the basic and detailed engineering and equipment and materials required inside battery limits.  This means that the project schedule can be greatly reduced as procurement can commence before the basic and detailed engineering of the plant is finished.  The engineering is already on the way and the first design package has been supplied to Rio Seco.  Apart from engineering, equipment and materials, Topsøe’s scope of supply also includes license, catalysts and supervision services during construction, commissioning and start-up.  The start-up of the plant is scheduled to take place in 2012.  Rio Seco’s managerial team said: “We are very pleased with our agreement with Topsøe for the supply of a WSA plant as this is an important unit in our new production complex.  “Specifically, we are pleased that Topsøe has qualified people working locally in South America who were able, in combination with the head office in Copenhagen, Denmark, to negotiate an LOI and sign a contract with us within only a few months.

 

SABIC, Maaden JV starts initial production

 

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.

 

Tunisia /GCT: Fertilizer production back to normal in June

 

May 19, 2011 - The "Group Chimique Tunisien" (GCT) producer of diammonium phosphate (DAP) will resume production at a normal pace during the month of June, following recent political unrest in the country, said a source from the company quoted by ICIS, the website specializing in chemical industry.  Speaking on the sidelines of the conference of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), the source said that the strike of railway is still hitting supplies of phosphate, a key raw material for production of phosphate fertilizers.  However, the DAP plant - which normally produces 110,000 tonnes / month - runs at 75-80% capacity.  Purchasers in connection with an Italian importer, who are about to begin negotiations for the shipment of cargoes in June, bought two lots of 7,000 tons in May for $ 640 per ton (€ 454/tons) FOB.

IFFCO to expand capacity in Paradip unit

May 17,2011 - Enthused by production of 16.62 lakh tonnes of fertiliser and 95 per cent capacity utilisation in 2010-11, fertiliser giant IFFCO today announced a Rs 700 crore expansion plan for its Paradip unit involving addition of new plants. "Our Paradip unit is going for expansion of complex with addition of Sulphuric Acid plant of 3500 MTPD capacity," IFFCO Senior Executive Director M R Patel told reporters here. Similarly, the expansion activities to be carried out at an investment of Rs 700 crore would also include addition of a Single Super Phosphate (SSP) plant of 1,200 MTPD capacity, he said. Stating that the unit produced 16.62 lakh tonnes of fertiliser and achieved almost 95 per cent capacity utilisation, Patel said Phosphoric Acid plant also produced 6.56 lakh tonnes, achieving 75 per cent capacity utilisation. Sulphuric Acid plant also produced 19 lakh tonnes of acid, achieving around 82 per cent capacity utilisation. There is also significant reduction in energy consumption in the complex, Patal said adding IFFCO has given importance to clean and green environment by implementing several schemes to reduce the pollutants to bare minimum. IFFCO won the '11th Global Greentech Environment Excellence Award 2010-Silver' for outstanding achievement in Environment Management in fertiliser sector. Emphasis was also laid on improving the infrastructure to ensure that the plants run smoothly without any safety hazard, he said adding IFFCO is exporting surplus power to GRIDCO, Orissa after meeting its own requirement. Phospho-Gypsum is sold to cement plants for agricultural purposes in various parts of the country, Patel said.

Outotec to deliver copper flash smelting technology to Iran

May 10, 2011 - Outotec has agreed with Tech Talk company of Dubai on the delivery of flash smelting technology for the expansion of National Iranian Copper Industries Company's copper smelter located in Sarcheshmeh, Iran. Outotec's scope of delivery includes the supervision of detail engineering, supply of proprietary equipment as well as installation supervision and training services. The contract value is approximately EUR 61 million.  Before getting this contract effective Outotec has ensured with the relevant export control authorities that the envisaged delivery does not collide with existing embargo regulations. Outotec has applied for and received all the necessary permits. In anticipation of possible subsequent changes in the regulatory framework, the order will be booked in Outotec's order backlog gradually according to the overall progress of the project during years 2011 - 2013.  "The Iranian copper smelters require new technology to minimize their environmental impact. Outotec® Flash Smelting technology is recognized as the world's most efficient and environmentally sustainable alternative. The technology is already in use in Iran and therefore the customer preferred it as the first choice", says Outotec CEO Pertti Korhonen.

Mississippi Flooding

 

May 10, 2011 - The Mosaic Company today announced it will temporarily shut down its Louisiana operations due to the impact of the Mississippi River flooding on its electrical power supplies. Operations will resume when river water levels recede and conditions permit.  The Company also noted that its ammonia plant at this location is temporarily idled for repairs following a recent incident.  Mosaic's Louisiana operations include Faustina, which produces diammonium phosphate and ammonia, and its Uncle Sam facility, which produces phosphoric, sulfuric and fluosilicic acid.  These matters are not expected to have a material impact on Mosaic's operations or financial results.

 

Chemtrade Logistics buys Marsulex

 

May 9, 2011 - Canadian sulfuric acid producer Chemtrade Logistics is buying another Canadian producer of sulfur-based chemicals, Marsulex, in a deal valued at $434 million.  Chemtrade makes sulfuric acid, liquid sulfur dioxide, and sodium hydrosulfite. It generated $538 million in sales in 2010.  Marsulex's 2010 revenues were $300 million. It also makes sulfuric acid and liquid sulfur dioxide, as well as other sulfur chemicals such as aluminum sulfate, sodium bisulfate, and ammonium sulfate. In addition, it offers services to refineries such as the processing of hydrogen sulfide.  In a conference call with analysts about the deal last Thursday, Chemtrade's CEO Mark Davis, said aluminum sulfate, used in water treatment, will be an important addition to its product line. In addition, Marsulex has a particularly strong business in providing services to the refineries in Alberta that process bitumen from the oil sands.  Marsulex's environmental technologies unit--which offers air quality compliance systems and services to electric utilities, chemical plants, and other industrial customers--isn't included in the deal because such operations aren't part of Chemtrade's core businesses. That unit is being spun off under a holding company, Investis. Marsulex shareholders can either receive all cash from Chemtrade or some cash and shares of Investis.  The parties expect the deal to close in June.

 

Kazakh Activists Block Rail Tracks In Sulfur Protest

May 06, 2011 - DOSSOR, Kazakhstan -- Hundreds of protesters blocked the rail tracks today in the western Kazakh town of Dossor to demand the removal of 16 freight cars loaded with sulfur, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.  The demonstrators say the sulfur-filled railroad cars have been standing in the town for several days and have caused many residents to fall ill.   The protesters are also demanding that local authorities scrap their plan to build a sulfur-processing facility in the town.  Qinymghali Qaimenov, governor of the Makat district where the town is located, told RFE/RL he has no idea who owns the sulfur in the freight cars.  Local authorities have pledged that the freight cars will be removed soon.

 

Certificate of discovery filed in $1M toxicity report suit

 

August 4, 2011 - Finding that two defendants falsified a toxicity report, a Jefferson County jury awarded Martin Product Sales nearly $1 million in damages, plus an additional $445,500 in attorney's fees.  As previously reported, Martin filed suit against Camin Cargo Control and Chemtex Environmental Laboratory on Dec. 19, 2008, in Jefferson County District Court, alleging the chemical testing companies falsified levels of toxic contaminants in a batch of sulfuric acid.  The case went to trial on July 25 in Judge Bob Wortham's 58th District Court and ended Aug. 2.  According to the charge of the court, jurors found Camin and Chemtex equally negligent, assigning 50 percent of the blame to each defendant.  Jurors awarded Martin $991,465.77 for the expenses associated with the sale and distribution of sulfuric acid and also awarded an additional $445,500 in attorney's fees.  Court records show Martin sold 1,400 metric tons of sulfuric acid after Camin and Chemtex allegedly falsely reported there were no undesirable contaminants in the sulfuric acid.  Martin had planned to sell 1,400 metric tons of sulfuric acid and hired Camin to sample, analyze and test the sulfuric acid to reveal whether it contained appreciable levels of commercially undesirable contaminants, such as highly toxic mercury, and to reveal any contaminants it did find.  Only after delivering the contaminated sulphuric acid to its customers did Martin Product Sales learn of the incorrect certification, the suit states.  During the trial, Martin maintained that Camin and Chemtx breached their contract and warranties by failing to properly sample, test and analyze the sulfuric acid.   Ronald L. White and Salvatore P. LoPiccolo II of White, MacKillop & Gallant PC in Houston are representing the plaintiff.

 

August 2, 2011 - A jury on Tuesday awarded $991,465.77 in damages to importing company Martin Product Sales LLC after it found a company it hired was negligent in certifying sulfuric acid it was storing at a Beaumont facility. In an 11-1 verdict, the jury found Camin Cargo Control Inc. and its representative, Chemtex Environmental Laboratory Inc., were negligent when the companies certified 14,000 metric tons of sulfuric acid that Martin Product Sales then sold to its customers.  Martin Product Sales sued for $1.35 million not including interest, attorney's fees and costs. The jury awarded the company $396,000 in attorney's fees for the trial court and $49,500 for representation through appeal to the court of appeals.  The jury also awarded Camin Cargo Control $2,845 for damages that resulted from Chemtex Environmental Laboratory's failure to comply. Chemtex has an office in Port Arthur.

 

August 1, 2011 - A Jefferson County jury heard closing arguments Monday about whether a company that provides inspection and laboratory testing services to the petroleum industry was negligent when it certified thousands of metric tons of sulfuric acid.  The jury will reconvene at 8:30 a.m. today in the 58th district court.  Plaintiff Martin Product Sales, known as MPS, sued Camin Cargo Control Inc. and Chemtex Environmental Laboratory Inc. in 2009 for $1.35 million not including interest, attorneys' fees and costs. The defendants dispute the allegations.  MPS alleges it hired Camin in 2008 to sample, analyze and test 14,000 metric tons of sulfuric acid which the company purchased internationally and held in storage tanks at a Beaumont facility.  After testing the sulfuric acid, Camin and its representatives - which included Port Arthur-based Chemtex - certified the chemical was uncontaminated, according to a petition filed in the Jefferson County district clerk's office. That certification was false, the petition states.  MPS alleges it sold the tainted sulfuric acid to customers based on that certification. Those customers subsequently sued for replacement, remediation, handling and mitigation costs from the contaminated sulfuric acid.

 

April 29, 2011 - A certificate of discovery was filed Friday in litigation alleging a pair of chemical testing companies falsified levels of toxic contaminants.  Seeking more than $1 million in damages, Martin Product Sales filed suit against Camin Cargo Control and Chemtex Environmental Laboratory on Dec. 19, 2008, in Jefferson County District Court.   Court records show Martin sold 1,400 metric tons of sulfuric acid after Camin and Chemtex allegedly falsely reported there were no undesirable contaminants in the sulfuric acid.  Martin had planned to sell 1,400 metric tons of sulfuric acid and hired Camin to sample, analyze and test the sulfuric acid to reveal whether it contained appreciable levels of commercially undesirable contaminants, such as highly toxic mercury, and to reveal any contaminants it did find.  Only after delivering the contaminated sulphuric acid to its customers did Martin Product Sales learn of the incorrect certification, the suit states.  On March 25 Martin filed a certificate of written discovery, notifying the defendants that it completed a discovery request for disclosure and production.  Martin Product Sales claims it has sustained direct and consequential damages of at least $1.35 million.  The suit alleges Camin and Chemtx breached their contract and warranties by failing to properly sample, test and analyze the sulfuric acid.  Ronald L. White and Salvatore P. LoPiccolo II of White, MacKillop and Gallant in Houston are representing the plaintiff.  The defendants are represented by Beaumont attorneys Don Lighty and Bill Richey.  Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is presiding over the litigation.

 

SA firm to invest $1.8bn in Namibia

 

April 28, 2011 - South African-based Gecko company is to invest $1.8 billion to build three chemical acid plants and a harbour in Namibia to serve the uranium mining industry, the firm said Thursday.  “The three proposed chemical acid plants for sulphuric acid, soda ash and phosphoric acid will cover ,000 hectares in the central coastal area near Swakopmund,” 350 kilometres west of the capital Windhoek, said Philip Ellis, Gecko's managing director for Namibia.  “Total costs of the Gecko initiatives will be approximately 12 billion Namibian dollars ($1.8 billion, 1.2 billion euros),” Ellis added.  The proposed acid plant is to produce up to 1.2 million tons of acid a year by using approximately 400,000 tons of sulphur, which will be imported via the proposed new bulk terminal port.  “We also plan to develop a port to import and export bulk commodities with a jetty stretching approximately 2,500 metres, as the nearby Walvis Bay port would become congested when handling the volumes,” Ellis told reporters.  During the construction of the three acid plants and the harbour, 11,250 jobs will be created, according to the Gecko Namibia. Once the plants are operational, 2,470 people will be permanently employed.  Public hearings on the project begin May 10. Once the necessary approvals are obtained, construction is expected to last 24 months, the firm said.  Namibia currently has two uranium mines, Langer Heinrich of Paladin Resources and Rossing Uranium of Rio Tinto.

 

Chemtrade to expand acid production capacity

 

April 20, 2011 - Industrial chemicals company Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund (TSX:CHE.UN) will spend about $12 million to expand its ultra pure sulphuric acid capacity at a U.S. plant.  The Toronto-based company said late Tuesday it had also struck a multi-year agreement with KMG Electronic Chemicals Inc. to sell some of the added production to KMG.  Chemtrade is North America's largest producer of ultra pure acid and KMG supplies process chemicals to the North America semiconductor industry.  The expanded plant in Tulsa, Okla., will boost Chemtrade's ultra pure acid capacity by about 50 per cent, the company said.   "This is a great opportunity for Chemtrade," Mark Davis, the company's president and CEO, said after stock markets closed Tuesday.  "Our ability to grow organically by building new capacity for an existing product is evidence of the value Chemtrade can create from its operational excellence. We are excited to deepen our ties with KMG, and through them, to the growing semiconductor industry in North America."   Chemtrade is one of North America's largest suppliers of sulphuric acid, ultra pure sulphuric acid, liquid sulphur dioxide and other chemicals used in industry.

Chemetics Inc.

 

On 1 February 2011, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (Jacobs) acquired the majority of the operations within Aker Solutions’ Process and Construction business area, and we wanted to inform you that we have changed our legal entity name from Aker Solutions Canada Inc. to Chemetics Inc.  Aker Solutions' P&C operations significantly expand Jacobs' global presence in the mining and metals market by providing a new geographic region within South America; and strengthening Jacobs' presence in China. It also enhances Jacobs' regional presence in Australia, Europe and North America.   Jacobs President and Chief Executive Officer Craig Martin said, "This acquisition directly supports our growth model and expands our global footprint to important geographies. Additionally, Aker Solutions' P&C business brings strength to several different areas of our business and positions us as a top-tier,  global player in the mining and metals business."  This name change will not impact our business dealings in any way but we wanted to explain why you will see the new name in our correspondence and paperwork in the future.

 

Bulgarian Lead Smelter Ordered to Close Because of Pollution

 

April 18, 2011 - Olovno Tzinkov Komplex AD, a Bulgarian lead and zinc smelter run by Intertrust Holdings AD, was ordered to close its lead unit because of excessive pollution.   The Kardjali-based smelter exceeded its annual limit of 24 lead and sulphur dioxide emissions above a specified level by April 12, the Environment Ministry said on its website.   “About 350 people will be laid off and we need to coordinate this with government authorities,” Roberto Mladenov, Intertrust’s executive director, said in a phone interview today. “The order to close the lead unit was issued this morning.”  Intertrust seeks $70 million to upgrade the unit by 2013, to meet European Union anti-pollution requirements, Intertrust Chairman Valentin Zahariev said in a March 15 interview.  The closure won’t affect zinc production, Mladenov said. Intertrust is investing 50 million euros ($72 million) to expand the zinc smelter. It plans to have a new electrolyte unit in operation by the end of the year and to re-equip two more zinc units next year, Zahariev said. Zinc output will be 20,000 tons this year, the same as in 2010, he said.  Bulgaria is recovering from its first recession in more than a decade after foreign investment dried up during the global credit crisis. The EU’s poorest country in terms of per- capita GDP is counting on demand for its exports, including metals and machinery, to boost growth to 3.6 percent this year after 0.2 percent in 2010.   Intertrust runs five metal, tool and engineering plants in neighboring Serbia, and the Gorubso mines at Madan, in Bulgaria. The company exports 85 percent of its output, mostly to Italy, Germany, Austria and Turkey, Zahariev said. The company’s biggest competitor in Bulgaria is Plovdiv-based KCM.

Planned upgrade to Agrium plant to cut SO2 emissions by a third

 

March 31, 2011 - Agrium plans to cut sulphur dioxide emissions from its two sulphuric acid units at its Redwater fertilizer plant by roughly a third.  The company's $800,000 project will reduce emissions at the plant by 215 metric tonnes a year from its current 690 metric tonnes a year.  The company made the announcement in response to a report by the Fort Air Partnership saying the plant had exceeded provincial guidelines on a number of occasions last year.  The Fort Air Partnership operates an air quality monitoring station at the fenceline of the fertilizer plant.  The province's air quality guidelines are different from the facility's permitted emissions limits, which have not been violated over the course of the report's time frame.  The guideline numbers are an indication of the level of emissions Environment Alberta regards as desirable and are generally lower than the maximum levels the facility may have been allowed to emit when the plant was first built.  Agrium submitted an emission reduction plan to the province in April 2010 and intends to implement the first phase of the program during a maintenance shutdown scheduled for 2012.

 

Certificate of discovery filed in $1M toxicity report suit

 

March 29, 2011 - A certificate of discovery was filed Friday in litigation alleging a pair of chemical testing companies falsified levels of toxic contaminants.  Seeking more than $1 million in damages, Martin Product Sales filed suit against Camin Cargo Control and Chemtex Environmental Laboratory on Dec. 19, 2008, in Jefferson County District Court.   Court records show Martin sold 1,400 metric tons of sulfuric acid after Camin and Chemtex allegedly falsely reported there were no undesirable contaminants in the sulfuric acid.  Martin had planned to sell 1,400 metric tons of sulfuric acid and hired Camin to sample, analyze and test the sulfuric acid to reveal whether it contained appreciable levels of commercially undesirable contaminants, such as highly toxic mercury, and to reveal any contaminants it did find.  Only after delivering the contaminated sulphuric acid to its customers did Martin Product Sales learn of the incorrect certification, the suit states.  On March 25 Martin filed a certificate of written discovery, notifying the defendants that it completed a discovery request for disclosure and production.  Martin Product Sales claims it has sustained direct and consequential damages of at least $1.35 million.  The suit alleges Camin and Chemtx breached their contract and warranties by failing to properly sample, test and analyze the sulfuric acid.  Ronald L. White and Salvatore P. LoPiccolo II of White, MacKillop and Gallant in Houston are representing the plaintiff.  The defendants are represented by Beaumont attorneys Don Lighty and Bill Richey.  Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is presiding over the litigation.

 

Outotec to deliver an effluent treatment plant for Codelco in Chile

 

March 3, 2011 - Outotec has signed a contract with the main copper producer in the world, Chilean Codelco for the design and delivery of an effluent treatment plant for Codelco's new Mina Ministro Hales project close to Calama, Chile. The contract price is approximately EUR 18 million.   Outotec's scope of delivery covers the turn-key supply of the plant including basic and detail engineering, supply of proprietary and process equipment, installation, start up services and training.  The new effluent treatment plant complements earlier EUR 116 million contract Outotec made with Codelco in 2010 for designing and delivering a copper concentrate roasting plant, gas cleaning system and sulfuric acid plant. The new plant will treat the effluents of those processes. The whole plant will have an annual capacity up to 550,000 tonnes of concentrate, and is scheduled to be commissioned in early 2013.  "Our goal is to adapt our expertise and technologies also to adjacent industries such as the energy industry and industrial water treatment. This way we can offer our customers ever more comprehensive life cycle solutions that cover also effluent treatment and gas cleaning of the processes as in this supplementary contract we signed with Codelco", says Pertti Korhonen, President and CEO of Outotec.

 

Epoxy withstands harsh, acidic environments

 

March 3, 2011 - The EP21AR epoxy developed by Master Bond is suitable for applications demanding excellent chemical resistance, especially to acids, fuels and oils.  Whether coating, lining, bonding or sealing, this two-component epoxy can withstand harsh, acidic environments, including prolonged immersion in 96-98 per cent sulphuric acid and 36 per cent hydrochloric acid, for more than a year.  With a dielectric strength of 400V/mil, the EP21AR is claimed to be a durable and stable epoxy that is also an excellent electrical insulator.  Its coefficient of thermal expansion is 45-55ppm/C and it is serviceable from -60F to +275F.   It produces high-strength, abrasion-resistant bonds with a tensile strength of more than 10,000psi, a shear strength exceeding 2,700psi and a compressive strength greater than 14,000psi at 75F.  The EP21AR is said to be simple to use with a 2:1 mix ratio by weight and a mixed viscosity of 10,000-15,000cps.  It is 100 per cent reactive with no solvents or diluents and can be applied smoothly in any thickness.  This epoxy has a working life of 45-55 minutes at ambient temperature for a 200g batch and cures at room temperature or faster at elevated temperatures.  It bonds well to a variety of substrates, including metals, glass, ceramics, cements, vulcanised rubbers, wood and many plastics.  The EP21AR is packaged in pint-, quart-, gallon- and five-gallon-container kits.  It is used in industries including oil and chemical processing, maintenance and repair, optics, metalworking, appliance and electrical/electronic.

 

MMC Norilsk Nickel will decrease emissions considerably

 

March 2, 2011 -  OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel (hereinafter – MMC Norilsk Nickel or the Company) will decrease SO2 emissions (main factor of the Company’s industrial pollution) as part of program aimed at gradual decrease of air emissions of Company’s metallurgical production facilities located in Norilsk (Polar Division of the Company).  In order to implement the program, MMC Norilsk Nickel posted international tender for a set of works related to implementation of state-of-the-art technologies of SO2 recovery at Copper Plant (CP) and Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant (NMP).  Once implemented new technologies shall provide for recovery of at least 95% of SO2 from CP and NMP waste gases. Together with on-going project of NMP capacity enhancement and liquidation of agglomeration and smelting areas at Nickel Plant, this shall result in dramatic decrease of SO2emissions to the atmosphere.  It is planned that the contractor chosen via tender shall perform the following:  

• Construction and installation of waste gases deep dust separation systems at flash furnace   of NMP and Vanukov furnace of CP. 

• Construction of waste gases SO2 concentration units at flash furnace of NMP and   Vanukov furnace of CP.  

• Overhaul of sulphur utilization units at NMP and CP so that all of the concentrated SO2 can  be processed; 

• Construction of converter waste gases cooling and  dust separation system, converter   waste gases SO2 concentration unit, and concentrated SO2 feed to interim storage tanks  and sulphur utilization units system. 

The annual volume of commercial sulphur production in Polar Division of the Company shall be over 900 thousand tons. Furthermore, the waste gases shall also be converted into sulphuric acid for copper and nickel electrolysis shops, and into sulphur-containing reagent for concentration area. The installation of waste gases dust cleaning systems shall provide for significant decrease of non-ferrous metals emissions.  The works shall be performed on the “turn-key” basis. Deadline for submitting a technical and commercial proposal is 30.06.2011. The works at both plants should start on 01.12.2011. 

 

Ontario Northland Transportation Commission fined Accident Report

 

March 2, 2011 - Ontario Northland Transportation Commission was fined $10,000 and agreed to pay $50,000 toward a federal environmental damage fund for a train derailment that spilled sulphuric acid into a creek in 2007.  The ONTC pleaded guilty in a North Bay court Tuesday to violating Canada's Fisheries Act. An Ontario Northland Railway train derailed at about 2 p.m. on March 30, 2007, causing 220 tons of sulphuric acid to spill from five cars. An unknown amount spilled into Miller Creek, north of Englehart.  The derailment happened on a curved section of track caused by inadequate maintenance when the distance between rail sections became too wide, court heard.  A news release following the derailment said there were no injuries.  The creek empties into the Blanche River, and court heard there was "low impact" on the fish population — mainly minnows — that had already spawned.  Court heard a study of fish population found there was a full recovery a month or two after the derailment.  "Ontario Northland is committed to the safety of its employees, customers, communities and the environment. We sincerely apologize for this incident and wish to assure all residents of our region that it has been taken extremely seriously," Paul Goulet, ONTC president and CEO, said in a news release.  The federal prosecutor credited the Crown corporation with a "tip top" cleanup effort by contacting environmental experts right away to pour lime slurry in the waterway to neutralize acid levels, and co-operating with the investigation.   "ONTC exhibited good corporate citizenship in addressing the matter immediately," Ontario Court Justice Jean-Gilles Lebel said.  The judge said the corporation improved track maintenance and inspection, and hired a full-time trainer to instruct more than 100 workers about field monitoring.  He said the company spent $84,000 for a third-party audit of how it inspects and maintains its tracks to prevent future derailments.  The company will continue to undergo independent audits every two years to continue to meet industry standards, the ONTC said in its news release.   The maximum fine for this type of fisheries charge is $300,000.  The ONTC agreed to pay $50,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund, a federal program that ensures polluters take responsibility for their actions, Environment Canada says on its website.   It says funding is used for restoration, improving the environment, research and development and education and awareness.

Chambishi Smelter embarks on US$250m expansion programme

February 21, 2011 - Chambishi Copper Smelter has embarked on a US$250 million expansion programme at its Copperbelt plant in a bid to double its 150,000 tonnes production of blisters annually starting next year.  Chambishi Copper Smelter deputy chief executive officer Fan Wei told Steel Guru that the increase in its annual production capacity to about 300,000 tonnes of blisters and 340,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid was expected to satisfy rising demand.   He said the company had engaged some state of the art “ISA technology” from Australia to satisfy its customer list that includes Lumwana Copper Mines, Luanshya Mine, NFCA and Chibuluma.  Wei said the expansion program was already on course although he regretted that the company did not have its own mine benefiting from its copper processing plant.  And Chambishi Copper Smelter said it would remain committed to improving its environmental protection measures.  In a recent assessment report to the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ), the company stated that it aimed at reducing or maximising on the amount of effluent discharge into the natural environment.   The company said it planned to improve on the copper recovery rate to 98 per cent and the sulphur dioxide recovery rate emitted into the environment to nine per cent.  According to the report, construction of the concentrator unit was underway, comprising a slag cooling system, crusher milling plant, floatation circuits and modification of auxiliary facilities.

Tronox Exits Bankruptcy - Without Savannah Plant

 

February 17, 2011 - A bankruptcy court has approved a plan for Oklahoma City-based chemical company Tronox to exit bankruptcy, although the Savannah facility is not part of that plan, the company said.  Instead, the Savannah plant has been transferred to a trustee appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court until a buyer can be found, according to Tronox corporate spokesman Robert Gibney.  The majority of the 30 workers still at the former titanium dioxide facility and still-active sulfuric acid plant located off East President Street are expected to remain employees of the trust until a buyer can be found, Gibney said.  While a number of former Tronox facilities are being transferred to a trust to oversee environmental clean-up operations, the Savannah plant is different in that it still has ongoing operations, albeit on a much smaller scale, Gibney said. In 2007, the Savannah facility - which included both titanium dioxide pigment and sulfuric acid plants - had 270 employees, generated $25 million in annual payroll and was the largest single customer of Georgia Power in Savannah.  In 2008, demand for titanium dioxide - a whitener/brightener used in paint, plastics, paper and hundreds of other applications - began to drop as the worldwide economy foundered. In December of that year, the company furloughed 35 local employees and, in early 2009, Tronox filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. By March 2009, the company had furloughed more than half its remaining work force because of what it called "a sudden and unprecedented drop in global demand for our product." Tronox emerges from the two-year bankruptcy a much smaller company, with three titanium dioxide plants - in Mississippi, Australia and the Netherlands - and one plant in Henderson, Nev., that produces electrolytic, battery-active manganese dioxide, primarily intended for use in alkaline batteries, Gibney said.  The Savannah plant has survived several incarnations over the years. Tronox was spun off in 2006 from Kerr-McGee, which purchased the plant in 2000 from Kemira Pigments, which bought the plant from American Cynamide in 1985.  http://savannahnow.com

 

Jacobs Completes Acquisition of Majority of Aker Solutions' Process & Construction Business

February 01, 2011 -  Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has completed the acquisition of a number of Aker Solutions' operations within its Process and Construction (P&C) business area.  The acquisition, which Jacobs initially announced on Dec. 21, 2010, has a cash purchase price of approximately $675 million, adjusted for cash and debt acquired. Jacobs expects the acquisition to be modestly accretive to earnings in fiscal 2011.Aker Solutions is retaining Aker Projects (Shanghai) Company Limited pending regulatory clearances in China.  Aker Solutions' P&C operations significantly expand Jacobs' global presence in the mining and metals market; provide a new geographic region with South America; and strengthen Jacobs' presence in China. It also enhances Jacobs' regional presence in Australia, Europe and North America.  Jacobs President and Chief Executive Officer Craig Martin said, "This acquisition directly supports our growth model and expands our global footprint to important geographies. Additionally, Aker Solutions' P&C business brings strength to several different areas of our business and positions us as a top-tier, global player in the mining and metals business."   Gary Mandel, executive vice president, Aker Solutions' Process and Construction business area, is joining Jacobs as part of the transaction. Mandel stated, "Jacobs is a solid company that has a history of success in the industry. As a customer-focused organization, we join a team that also holds its clients in the highest regard. We see enormous opportunity to provide a higher and more expansive level of support to our clients and our employees."

 

Cytec Sells Basics Unit To Private Equity Firm

 

January 31, 2011 - Cytec Industries has reached an agreement to sell its building block chemicals business to an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital for $180 million. The purchase is the third chemical acquisition in recent years for the Miami-based private equity firm.  The main asset of the building block chemicals business is a plant in Fortier, La., that manufactures melamine, acrylonitrile, and sulfuric acid. The business had sales last year of $600 million.  Cytec says it decided in the fourth quarter of last year to divest the business. CEO Shane Fleming says the sale will allow Cytec to "put more attention and resources on our core growth platforms of engineered materials, in-process separations, and waterborne and radcure [radiation cured] coating resins."  The sale will come at a cost to Cytec. Although the building block chemicals business mainly serves the merchant market, it does supply Cytec with melamine to make melamine resins and acrylonitrile to make carbon fiber. Cytec expects having to buy these chemicals at their current high prices will reduce its earnings this year by about 15 cents per share.  Laurence Alexander, a stock analyst at Jefferies & Co. noted in a report to clients that building block chemicals has historically been one of Cytec's most volatile businesses. Although sales last year were $600 million, they averaged $336 million over the past 10 years. And earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization were about $59 million last year, compared to $37 million over the past 10 years, Alexander said.  For its part, H.I.G. is developing a small stable of chemical businesses. In 2008, it purchased two Illinois-based firms: a Croda oleochemicals business and the surfactants maker Petroferm. Last year, the oleochemical business, renamed Vantage Specialty Chemicals, invested in Lipo Chemicals, a supplier of ingredients to the personal care industry.

Shell and Khalid Cement to develop sulphur concrete

January 17, 2011 - In an initiative aimed at boosting the environment, Qatar Shell and Doha-based Khalid Cement Industries Complex yesterday signed an agreement to jointly develop technology to produce pre-cast sulphur concrete using indigenous materials.  The collaboration could contribute to reducing the environmental impact of some construction activities in Qatar and provide new outlets for the country’s rapidly increasing sulphur production.  The agreement was signed by Sheikh Ahmad bin Khalid bin Mohamed al-Thani, Khalid Cement chief executive officer and Andy Brown, Shell’s executive vice president.  The joint work will combine Khalid Cement’s expertise in manufacturing and commercialising pre-cast concrete with the proprietary ‘Shell Thiocrete’ technology, which reduces the cost of modifying sulphur for use in concrete.  Shell and Khalid Cement will be using indigenous sulphur, sand, aggregate and fillers to produce sulphur concrete.  Shell said its Thiocrete technology offers high performance and environmental benefits compared with concrete made from Portland cement.  Shell Thiocrete does not require water, a scarce commodity in Qatar. The manufacturing process also offers lower CO2 emissions than Portland cement concrete partly because the emissions associated with limestone conversion in the cement manufacturing process are avoided. The end product reaches maximum strength within hours rather than weeks it takes now, and is acid and salt-water resistant as well.   By 2015, there will be an estimated 2.5mn tonnes of sulphur produced annually in Qatar, all derived from the production of oil and natural gas. Global production of sulphur is also likely to increase significantly. Finding new ways to use sulphur would enable Qatar to improve the economic return derived from this natural resource.   Sheikh Ahmad said, “We believe there is significant scope to develop new pre-cast concrete technology and ultimately commercial products from sulphur concrete that will be well-received in Qatar. We are pleased to partner with Shell in this venture, and are glad it could make both environmental and economic contribution to the nation.  “Khalid Cement, as one of Qatar’s leading providers of complete concrete solutions has the ability to design, manufacture and erect precast elements while ensuring high quality production as evidenced by Khalid Cement’s ISO and other key certifications. We are proud that Khalid Cement is a part of Qatar’s commendable growth with our sustainable and credible involvement in major landmark projects and relevant technological initiatives, such as this innovation with Shell.”  Brown said, “Shell is proud to partner with Khalid Cement for the purposes of this development work, which we hope will create whole new, environmentally-constructive, markets for sulphur, which is one of Qatar’s natural resources. Much Portland cement is currently imported, so this work could also help to diversify Qatar’s industry. We think both these outcomes would be in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.”

DuPont Completes Acquisition of MECS

January 03, 2011 - DuPont has completed its purchase of MECS from affiliates of American Securities LLC. The previously announced transaction strengthens the DuPont clean technologies portfolio and will provide access to additional high-growth markets, particularly in developing regions such as Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.  Per the agreement, MECS becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of DuPont and part of the company's Sustainable Solutions business effective Dec. 31, 2010. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.   "We are pleased to begin 2011 by welcoming MECS into DuPont Sustainable Solutions," said James R. Weigand, president - DuPont Sustainable Solutions. "This acquisition enables us to diversify our clean technologies portfolio in significant ways. As a result, we estimate an increase in the addressable market for our clean air and clean fuel offerings from approximately $200 million to $1 billion. This action also is aligned with our corporate goals that call for using our science and technology to protect people and the environment and to address the needs of developing regions."

Gasco awards contracts worth Dh4b

 

January 3, 2011 - Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd (Gasco) awarded Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPC) works contracts at the Habshan Sulphur Station and Pipelines, and Ruwais Sulphur Handling Terminal-2 to two parties on Tuesday, according to a Gasco press release.  Dodsal was awarded a contract worth approximately Dh1.75 billion with a completion schedule of 31 months. Also, a consortium of Techint, Italy, and Al Jaber Energy Services, Abu Dhabi, was awarded a Dh2.25 billion contract with a completion period of 36 months, the press release said.  The contracts are on lump sum turnkey basis for the Shah and Habshan Rail (SHR) Granulated Sulphur Transportation and Management Project. The project will transport granulated sulphur from the Shah and Habshan Stations to export terminals at Ruwais via rail and will replace the current transportation of liquid sulphur via tankers to Ruwais.  Liquid sulphur produced at the Shah and Habshan Processing Plants will be transported in pipelines to the Shah and Habshan Granule Plants to be granulated and loaded on railcars. The granulated sulphur will then be transported on the Union Railway system to the Sulphur Terminal in Ruwais where it will be unloaded and exported by ship to international markets, the press release added.  The main track connecting the new Habshan and Shah Granule Plants to Ruwais will be designed, constructed and operated by Union Railways.  Gasco said the Habshan Sulphur Granule Plant and Pipelines facility will be a new green field plant located approximately 16km south east of the existing Habshan Gas Plant Complex and about 32km south of the intersection of Highway E11 and Tarif (Abu Al Abyadh).  The plant will have a capacity of receiving, processing and granulating 11,000 tons per day (tpd) of liquid sulphur from Habshan Gas Plants and also includes facilities for storage of liquid sulphur and granulated sulphur, railcar loading and generation of required utilities. The liquid sulphur from Habshan Gas Plants to Habshan Sulphur Stations will be transferred through pipelines which will be based on SEET (Skin Effect Electrical Tracing) Technology.   The Sulphur Handling Terminal-2 (SHT-2) plant facility will be a new greenfield plant located in the Ruwais industrial area approximately 165 km southwest of Abu Dhabi City.  Granulated sulphur will be transported by rail from Habshan and Shah areas to the SHT-2 located approximately 4.5km southeast of the existing Gasco Sulphur Handling Terminal (SHT). The SHT-2 facility is designed to receive 22,000 tonnes per day of granulated sulphur from both Shah and Habshan Sulphur Granule Plants.  The facilities include unloading, granule storage and ship loading of elemental granular sulphur from railcars, and the supply of utilities from existing facilities within the Ruwais industrial area.  Granulated sulphur from railcars will be reclaimed from storage buildings, and transported by conveyors to quadrant-style ship loaders for export.