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Sulphuric Acid - NEWS

 

Updated December 17, 2021

 

 

2021


Nyrstar to place French operations on care and maintenance
SNC-Lavalin to assess sulphuric acid plant options at Ammaroo phosphate project
China Nerin Engineering wins Kamoa direct-to-blister copper plant contract  
Nuberg EPC Wins Two Sulphuric Acid Plant Projects in Egypt and Ethiopia
Itafos Announces Restart of Sulfuric Acid Plant at Arraias

ioneer awards sulphuric acid plant contract to DuPont Clean Technologies
Nyrstar fined $35,000 for toxic acid spill into waterways near Port Pirie lead smelter
Sumitomo Chemical to Expand Production Capacity for High-Purity Chemicals for Semiconductors
Price increase for Haldor Topsoe’s sulfuric acid catalysts
Ineos Completes Sale of Sulphur Chemicals Business
Dupont Clean Technology increases global MECS catalyst prices
Eurochem to acquire Yara's Brazil phosphates project
M Naveen Patnaik lays foundation of third plant at IFFCO in Odisha
Expansion of Boliden Odda and more zinc with world-leading climate performance  
Metso Outotec to provide copper smelting engineering, tech to PT Freeport’s Manyar project
ANDRITZ to Supply the World’s First Sulfuric Acid Plant in A Pulp Mill, Producing Commercial-grade, Concentrated Sulfuric Acid for Klabin’s Ortigueira
Klabin builds first integrated sulfuric acid plant in Brazil 
Buffalo chemical plant owner disputes state shutdown order 
Copper bounces back as bullish investors bet on shortages 
Acid squeeze latest obstacle facing giant copper mines

UK sulphuric acid buyers 'in a panic' as INEOS ends domestic production
Glencore's KCC mine in Congo had acid spill on March 16
International Private-Equity Consortium to Acquire DuPont Clean Technologies for $5190 Million
Nuberg EPC Wins 500 TPD Sprea Misr Sulphuric Acid Plant Project in Ramadan, Egypt
Vedanta mine settles Zambian villagers' pollution claim
Glencore in final talks over Mopani sale


2020

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1999   1998



Nyrstar to place French operations on care and maintenance

December 17, 2021 - The decision comes in response to a significant rise in power prices in France.  Belgium-based global metals firm Nyrstar plans to place its operations in Auby, France, on care and maintenance from the first week of January 2022, due to increasing power prices.  The decision comes in response to significantly increased current and anticipated future prices of electricity in the country.  In a press statement, Nyrstar said: “Power prices, already at historically high levels across Europe, have continued to rise in recent weeks in France, in excess of neighbouring European countries.  “This is as a result of low availability of nuclear power, high carbon-related costs passed on by power companies and reduced fixed-price allowances for the industry.”  Nyrstar said that electricity prices in early 2022 in France could stay high and volatile.  During the care and maintenance period, the firm plans to undertake maintenance and continue planned investment into the project.  Furthermore, employees at the Auby operations would be redirected to work on training maintenance and investment projects.  The firm plans to resume production at Auby once it is economically viable.  In Auby, Nyrstar operates a mid-scale electrolytic zinc smelter, which produces cathodes as finished products. It uses both zinc concentrates and zinc secondaries as feedstock.  The smelter is designed to process a high percentage of secondary feed material to produce SHG cathode and some extra pure quality cathodes.  The site also produces by-products of sulphuric acid, Auby Leach Product, copper and indium.  Nystar will continue to run its three European operations in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, though with a production reduction of up to 50% due to high power prices.


SNC-Lavalin to assess sulphuric acid plant options at Ammaroo phosphate project

 

December 7, 2021 - SNC-Lavalin Group says it will undertake a definitive feasibility study for Verdant Minerals’ Ammaroo phosphate project in the Northern Territory of Australia.  The group is providing engineering and procurement services to assess the feasibility of a 4,500 t/d sulphuric acid plant, which will be part of a fully-integrated mine and downstream processing facility to produce ammonium phosphate fertilisers.  This sulphuric acid plant will use DuPont Clean Technologies’ MECS® technologies to minimise SO2 emissions, rendering the plant more sustainable in the long term, SNC-Lavalin said. MECS Heat Recovery System (HRS) technology will also be used to recover medium pressure steam from the sulphuric acid plant, an energy now captured instead of being wasted, providing the majority of energy requirements for the site and removing the need to have additional sources of energy.  This will maximise energy efficiency while reducing the overall facility’s reliance on energy supply from external sources and overall lessen its carbon footprint, SNC-Lavalin added.  Initial development of Ammaroo could produce in the order of 2 Mt/y of phosphate concentrate, with further downstream processing resulting in 500,000 t/y of merchant-grade phosphoric acid (100% P2O5) for domestic and global markets, Verdant says.  Patrick Sikka, Vice-President, North America, Mining & Metallurgy at SNC-Lavalin, said: “We are proud to be working with Verdant Minerals on this project to develop a world-class sulphuric acid plant as part of its major new mine and processing development, ensuring the long-term sustainability of its operations.”


China Nerin Engineering wins Kamoa direct-to-blister copper plant contract
  

November 18, 2021 - Ivanhoe Mines has awarded a 500,000 tonnes per annum direct-to-blister copper smelting plant contract for the Kamoa-Kakula Complex to China Nerin Engineering.  The smelter will be the most extensive of its kind in Africa and one of the largest single-line flash smelters in the world.  The $700 million project is expected to speed along Ivanhoe’s ambition to produce environmentally sustainable ‘green copper’ to feed into the emerging global energy transition.  The smelter, supplied by Finland’s Metso Autotec, has been sized to process most of the copper concentrate forecast to be produced by Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1, 2 and 3 concentrators.  The smelter is expected to be built concurrently with the project’s Phase 3 mine and concentrator expansion over the next three years and the upgrading of turbine five at the Inga II hydropower complex.  Ivanhoe says an onsite smelting facility has compelling cost and environmental benefits, including reducing the volume of copper concentrate shipped from the mine by about 50%-plus and the associated logistics costs, export taxes and concentrate treatment charges.  The smelter also will produce sulphuric acid as a by-product, creating a new revenue stream for Kamoa Copper. According to Ivanhoe, there is a strong demand and market for sulphuric acid in the DRC to recover copper from oxide ores.  Kamoa-Kakula currently is producing an extremely high-grade, clean copper concentrate containing approximately 55% copper and low levels of arsenic by world standards – about 0.01%. Approximately 35% of Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1 concentrate is sent to the local Lualaba smelter for processing into blister copper ingots – containing approximately 99% copper – while the remainder is transported via trucks and ships to international smelters for treatment.  Kakula is projected to be the world’s highest-grade major copper mine, with an initial mining rate of 3.8 million tonnes per annum at an estimated average feed grade of more than 6% copper over the first five years of operations and 5.9% copper over the initial 10 years of operations.  Phase 1 is expected to produce about 200,000 tonnes of copper per year, while the Phase 2 expansion is forecast to increase production to about 400,000 tonnes of copper annually. Kamoa Copper is on track to complete the Phase 2 expansion in the second quarter of 2022.  Based on independent benchmarking, the project’s phased expansion scenario to 19 million tonnes per annum would position Kamoa-Kakula as the world’s second-largest copper mining complex, with peak annual copper production of more than 800,000 tonnes.  The operation yielded its 
maiden profit in the first full quarter of operations. On November 15, the company reported a profit of $85.4 million for the three months to September 30.  The Kamoa-Kakula project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Limited (0.8%) and the Government of the DRC (20%).
 

Nuberg EPC Wins Two Sulphuric Acid Plant Projects in Egypt and Ethiopia

 

October 21, 2021 - Leading Indian Global EPC and turnkey project management company, Nuberg EPC today announced winning two Sulphuric Acid plant projects in Gamasa City, Egypt and Oromia, Ethiopia. The 500 MTPD + 5MW Rating STG Set in Egypt and 50 TPD Sulfuric Acid + 40 TPD Aluminium Sulphate Project in Ethiopia have been won on EPC & LSTK basis. The Egypt project is scheduled to be delivered in 22 months and the Ethiopia project in 15 months from the contract LC opening date.  These projects are an acknowledgement of Nuberg EPC's advanced Sulphuric Acid technology - Double Contact Double Absorption (DCDA) and execution capability. In this process, the product gases Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and Sulfur Trioxide (SO3) are passed through absorption towers twice to achieve further absorption and production of higher-grade sulfuric acid. Before this, the company has built more than seven Sulfuric Acid plants in Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh, and Oman. Over the years, Nuberg EPC has established itself as a world-class Sulphuric Acid EPC- LSTK supplier. This is also the fifth turnkey project in Egypt. The others include a Caustic Soda plant for the Egyptian Petrochemical Company in Alexandria, a Calcium Chloride plant for TCI Sanmar Chemicals in Port Said, a Sulphuric Acid plant for AGROCHEM in Alexandria, and a 500 MTPD Sulphuric Acid Plant for Sprea Misr in Ramadan City, Egypt.  Sulfuric Acid finds its way in a wide range of applications in the hydrocarbon (oil & gas) industry and is one of the most important industrial chemicals. The major use of sulfuric acid is in the production of fertilizers, in petroleum refining to wash impurities out of gasoline, in derivatives, and other refinery & petrochemical products, in processing metals, and in automobiles as the electrolyte in the lead-acid storage battery. Whereas Aluminium Sulphate is a chemical used as a coagulant in the purification of drinking water, in paper sizing, and other industrial applications in the country.  On being awarded the project, Mr. A. K. Tyagi, MD, Nuberg EPC commented, "We look forward to further strengthen the faith of the clients in our Sulphuric Acid turnkey project expertise and engineering talent. The whole industry faced challenging times last one year and yet we managed to deliver to our commitments in time. We will be looking forward to delivering ahead of schedule for an early start to our clients."  He further stated, "Nuberg EPC's scope of services for these projects include Process Design & Technology including Product and Technology Development, Process Know-how & Licensing, Basic Engineering, Front End Engineering Design (FEED), Construction Management, Operation & Maintenance, Detailed Engineering, Project Management, Commissioning, EPC & LSTK Solutions, Heavy Fabrication, and start-up of the plant."  Nuberg EPC has been providing plant design, engineering, technology, and turnkey solutions to the sulphuric acid industry for 25 years. Nuberg EPC is a global technology supplier and licenser for Sulfuric Acid Plants. The company has its own technology specially designed and developed to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of Sulphuric Acid plants. The company is a global leader for executing turnkey Chemical and Fertilizer projects worldwide. As one of the fastest-growing EPC companies in chlor alkali/caustic soda, hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid, and calcium chloride, Nuberg EPC serves in the chemicals & fertilizers, hydrocarbon, steel, and nuclear & defence industries worldwide.

 

  • Both plants to use Nuberg-owned Sulphuric Acid technology

  • Prestigious project during the pandemic

  • Nuberg EPC has built more than seven Sulphuric Acid projects worldwide

  • Projects won from International Company for Chemical Industry and Chemical Industry Corporation – Awash Melkassa Chemical Factory (CIC-AMCF), Ethiopia and International Company for Chemical Industry (ICCI), Egypt

 

Itafos Announces Restart of Sulfuric Acid Plant at Arraias

October 20, 2021 - Itafos Inc. announced today its decision to restart the sulfuric acid plant at Arraias. The recommissioning of the sulfuric acid plant at Arraias is expected to be completed over a four-month timeframe in order to commence sulfuric acid sales during Q1 2022.  “There continues to be significant demand for fertilizer products globally, including sulfuric acid in our Brazilian markets. Restarting our sulfuric acid plant at Arraias provides us with an opportunity to supply market demand at positive margins while we continue to evaluate strategic alternatives,” said G. David Delaney, CEO of Itafos.  Arraias’ sulfuric acid plant has production capacity of 220kt per year. The sulfuric acid plant, as well as the remainder of the infrastructure associated with Arraias’ vertically integrated phosphate fertilizer business, has been idled since Q4 2019. The remainder of Arraias’ key infrastructure, including its mine, beneficiation plant, acidulation plant and granulation plant are expected to remain idled following best practices.  The restart of the sulfuric acid plant at Arraias is independent of the previously announced stage-gate restart program launched during Q2 2020. The next deliverable related to the stage-gate restart program remains the completion of a revised geological model and long-term mine plan of the Domingos pit, which is expected to be completed during Q4 2021. 

 

 

ioneer awards sulphuric acid plant contract to DuPont Clean Technologies

 

September 7, 2021 - DuPont Clean Technologies has been awarded a contract for the license, engineering and supply of equipment to a planned sulphuric acid plant at Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in the US state of Nevada.  DuPont will work with its Canadian engineering partner SNC-Lavalin on the design of the 3,500 tonnes-per-day capacity plant, providing its proprietary MECS sulphuric acid production technology to ensure ultra-low emissions by world standards.  The technology was developed by US-based chemicals firm MECs Inc prior to DuPont acquiring the company as a subsidiary in 2010.  It produces marketable sulphuric acid using a sulphur by-product from chemical processes which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.  DuPont’s contract with ioneer is conditional on Rhyolite Ridge receiving final investment decision from ioneer’s board of directors.  ioneer managing director Bernard Rowe said the DuPont contract will enhance the environment-friendly nature of the company’s flagship project.  “Our core commitment is to produce essential materials in an environmentally and socially responsible and sustainable manner through lowered emissions, reduced water usage and a minimal surface footprint,” he said.  “We are delighted to welcome DuPont [as] a world-leader in clean technology and emissions control to help deliver this tier one project in the US.”  Employing advanced technologies, the Rhyolite Ridge plant will be built to meet Nevada’s stringent Class II air quality and water pollution control standards.  In June, ioneer received a Class II permit from the state’s Bureau of Air Pollution Control, ticking a box required for the commencement of project construction in late 2024.  DuPont will supply ioneer with its latest generation MECS Super GEAR catalyst and other critical proprietary equipment to convert sulphur into commercial-grade sulphuric acid, which will be used to leach lithium and boron from crushed rock.  Heat released during the process will be recovered to produce steam for the 35 megawatts of electricity required to power the entire Rhyolite Ridge operation.  Successful generation of the electricity means ioneer will not have to rely on the grid for its power needs.  The heat will also be used for evaporation and crystallisation processes required to produce lithium carbonate and boric acid.  When complete, Rhyolite Ridge will be an energy-independent operation, using primarily co-generated, zero-carbon power.  It is expected to produce 20,600 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate, converting in the fourth year of operation to 22,000tpa of battery-grade lithium hydroxide and 174,400tpa of boric acid.


Nyrstar fined $35,000 for toxic acid spill into waterways near Port Pirie lead smelter

August 30, 2021 - The owners of Port Pirie's lead smelter have been fined $35,000 for a series of failures that led to 700 litres of "toxic" sulphuric acid leaking from the plant into waterways and mangroves near the town.  Nyrstar caused material environmental harm by polluting the environment through toxic waste leakage between January 31 and February 2, 2019 — the extent of that harm could not be quantified.  The Environment, Resources and Development Court previously heard the company did not respond for about eight hours as it made "a wrong assumption" that the leak only contained weak acid.  Judge Paul Muscat said the case was not a "flagrant disregard" by Nyrstar and sat at the lower end of the scale.  "An incident of this general nature was not entirely unforeseeable and effective mechanisms to prevent it could — and should — have been implemented," he said.  "The incident was not caused by a single error but a combination of small failures in processes and human error that led to environment harm.  "These systems and processes were clearly insufficiently designed and not implemented to the required standard.  "The harm in this case is to be limited to potential environmental harm that is not trivial."  The acid leak occurred when the systems the Nyrstar had in place to prevent a spillage "failed", with sulphuric acid corroding a wrongly installed valve on the very system designed to safeguard against leakage.  It led to "a slug" of acid filtering into the waterways.  The Environment Protection Authority previously — in seeking a penalty of up to $120,000 — told the court the leak increased the presence of heavy metals in the natural and manmade waterways that were toxic to aquatic life, but it could not be "conclusively proven" that the acid leak was responsible for killing fish, as there was an algal bloom present at the same time.  A spokesperson for Nyrstar said quick action was taken after the spill to replace the affected valve.  "Nyrstar also made adjustments and upgrades to ancillary equipment to reduce the likelihood of further spills, and improved its monitoring and response processes to better manage potential spills," the spokesperson said.  "Nyrstar has fully cooperated from the outset with the EPA investigation and subsequent court proceedings.  "In addition, it undertook its own investigation and shared its data and findings with the EPA.   "Since the date of the spill, Nystar's new management has driven further significant environment- and safety-related upgrades at the Port Pirie site."   Judge Muscat gave Nyrstar credit for addressing the inefficiencies in its systems.  The company has also been ordered to pay costs of $5,000. 

Sumitomo Chemical to Expand Production Capacity for High-Purity Chemicals for Semiconductors

 

August 24, 2021 - Sumitomo Chemical Co. plans to expand its production capacity for high-purity chemicals for semiconductors. The Company will install new production lines to double the capacity for high-purity sulfuric acid at its Ehime Works (Niihama city, Ehime, Japan) and increase the capacity for high-purity ammonia water at the Iksan Plant of Dongwoo Fine-Chem Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary in South Korea, by approximately 40%. The new production lines are due to commence operation in the first half of fiscal 2024 for Ehime Works, and the second half of fiscal 2023 for the Iksan Plant.  High-purity chemicals used in the semiconductor production process, mainly for precision cleaning, are manufactured by using ultra-high purification technology to reduce impurities down to a parts-per-trillion level in order to prevent foreign materials such as metal and organic impurities from affecting both quality and yield of semiconductors. Sumitomo Chemical’s products meet those stringent requirements and possess superior quality stability as the company takes thorough measures to eliminate impurities in every step from manufacturing to delivery and has put in place a rigorous quality assurance system based on nano-scale impurity analytical technology. With Dongwoo Fine-Chem operating two production bases, the Pyeongtaek and Iksan Plants, in South Korea and Sumika Electronic Materials (Xi’an) Co., Ltd. and Sumika Electronic Materials (Changzhou) Co., Ltd., subsidiaries in China, manufacturing and selling high-purity chemicals in the country, the Sumitomo Chemical Group has built a global supply system focused on being close to its customers’ production sites.  The semiconductor device market has continued to grow, driven by demand for 5G smartphones and, amid lifestyle changes, increased demand for personal computers and data center-related equipment. Against this backdrop, demand for high-purity chemicals, which are essential to the semiconductor production process, is expected to continue to increase strongly. By the capacity expansion both in Ehime and Korea, the Sumitomo Chemical Group will provide a stable supply of high-purity chemicals.

www.chemengonline.com


Price increase for Haldor Topsoe’s sulfuric acid catalysts

 

Haldor Topsoe has increased its prices for sulfuric acid catalysts with €0.25/L.

The increase is driven by a substantial increase in the price of vanadium, which is a necessary raw material for sulfuric acid catalysts. The price adjustment will take effect immediately.

The VK sulfuric acid catalysts provide excellent activity over a wide range of operating conditions. This leads to unprecedented reductions in SO2 emissions and make it easy to comply with stringent environmental regulation. VK catalysts also gives sulfuric acid producers the option to boost production volumes with no additional emissions


Ineos Completes Sale of Sulphur Chemicals Business

August 11, 2021 - Ineos Enterprises (London, U.K.) has announced completion of the sale of its Sulphur Chemicals business to International Chemical Investors Group.  Ineos’ Sulphur Chemicals business is Spain’s largest dedicated manufacturer of sulfuric acid and oleum serving end-applications ranging from agriculture to chemical intermediates.  Its 400,000-ton manufacturing facility is located in Bilbao, Northern Spain.  The business will become part of WeylChem’s advanced intermediates and reagents portfolio, which includes an existing sulphuric acid and oleum plant located in Lamotte, Northern France.  WeylChem is wholly owned by the International Chemical Investors Group.  The agreement is an important step in the continued development of both businesses and presents new opportunities to the 50 employees based in Bilbao as they join what will be one of the leading European Sulphur Chemicals companies.  “I am very pleased to have completed the sale of the INEOS Sulphur Chemicals business, which now becomes part of a strategic business unit within International Chemical Investors Group,” said Ashley Reed CEO INEOS Enterprises. “The business is an attractive addition to WeylChem’s advanced intermediates and reagents portfolio that will help secure future development and growth, to meet customer needs in Europe.”  Dr. Uwe Brunk CEO WeylChem Group of Companies states “This acquisition underlines our commitment to bolstering our position as a strategic partner in advanced intermediates and reagents. INEOS Sulphur Chemicals and our French operations at WeylChem Lamotte complement each other perfectly. This combined business will be an agile, customer-focused player with superior services and supply certainty provided to demanding customers across Europe.”  The consideration for the transaction is not disclosed.


Dupont Clean Technology increases global MECS catalyst prices

 

August 10, 2021 - DuPont Clean Technologies (DuPont) has announced a global price increase of US$0.30/l for its MECS® sulfuric acid catalyst products. Subject to the terms of applicable contracts, the new pricing will take effect immediately.


Eurochem to acquire Yara's Brazil phosphates project
 

August 2, 2021 - Russia-based fertilizer producer Eurochem has signed an agreement to purchase the Serra do Salitre phosphates project in Brazil from Norway's Yara.  The project, located in southeastern Brazil's Minas Gerais, is scheduled to bring on stream a 1mn t/yr phosphates plant, producing MAP/NP, as well as SSP and TSP, in 2023. The project will reach its target output in 2024, Eurochem forecasts.  The project has a 1.2mn t/yr phosphate rock capacity, with rock reserves of over 350mn t.  The mine and beneficiation plant are already operating, producing 500,000-600,000t of phosphate rock. The project will also include a sulphuric acid plant, a phosphoric acid plant and a 400,000t storage facility for finished fertilizers.  Eurochem will purchase the project, into which Yara entered in 2014, through a shares purchase with a cash consideration of $410mn. The transaction will be completed in six months, subject to regulatory approval, Yara expects.  Yara had taken full control of the Serra do Salitre project after completing the purchase of the remaining 40pc stake in Galvani Industria, Comercio e Servicos, as announced in October 2018. Brazil is an agricultural powerhouse and the world's largest importer of MAP fertilizer, with imports hitting a record 4.76mn t last year. The country is a top producer of soybeans, for which phosphate-based fertilizers are key. Brazil is set to produce 144mn t of soybeans in 2021-22, according to latest US Department of Agriculture (USDA) projections.  Eurochem has increasingly sharpened its focus on Latin America in recent years, increasing fertilizer sales to the region to 5.09mn t in 2020, up by a fifth on the year.  Eurochem last year shifted trade flows of phosphate fertilizers, largely in favour of Latin America, after the levying of duties on Russian-origin fertilizers by the US Department of Commerce in February. Latin America accounted for a quarter of total sales last year, with Brazil taking 22pc, Eurochem said.  Yara retains a notable presence in Brazil, expanding its operations with the recent inauguration of a granulation complex with targeted output up to 1.2mn t/yr in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, as announced at the end of March this year.  The firm also operates major complexes in Sao Paulo state, with a production facility in Cubatao purchased from mining firm Vale in 2018, as well as the Paulinia SSP facility.  Yara's fertilizer sales to Brazil dropped by 4pc to 2.21mn t in the second quarter.
 

 

CM Naveen Patnaik lays foundation of third plant at IFFCO in Odisha


July 24, 2021 - India’s largest fertilizer manufacturer, IFFCO is expanding its sulphuric acid production capacity by the installation of the third plant with a capacity of 2,000 metric tonne (MT) per day.  Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, on Friday, laid the foundation stone for yet another project at Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO), Paradip, virtually. The project conceptualised in January this year at an estimated cost of Rs 400 crore, is targeted to be operational in 2023.  The plant will be built using latest technology to ensure lowest emission levels. Apart from producing sulphuric acid which is used for production of DAP/NPK fertilizers, it will also recover the process heat in the form of high pressure steam, used as a source of energy for power generation as well as other process requirements.  The new plant will reduce dependence on import of the chemical, utilisation of waste heat-based energy to reduce burden on the power generation sector, contribute to climate change initiatives by reducing carbon emission and greenhouse gases, generate employment and contribute to overall economic development.  Technology selection and ordering process for the plant is currently in progress.  Thanking the CM for his support, Managing Director US Awasthi said this plant is yet another step by IFFCO in their commitment towards the farmers of the country. Also present on the occasion were K J Patel, Unit Head of IFFCO, Paradip, along with his team and representatives from Employees’ Union and Officers Association.  www.newindianexpress.com

Expansion of Boliden Odda and more zinc with world-leading climate performance
  

July 21, 2021 - Boliden has decided to invest in the expansion of Boliden Odda in Norway to an annual zinc production of 350 Ktonnes. The investment is for a total of EUR 700 m and will be completed at the end of 2024. The expansion means that the production of zinc with world-leading climate performance will almost double.  Today, Boliden Odda has an annual production capacity of 200 Ktonnes of zinc. The operation will be supplied with fossil-free electricity, and waste deposition will take place in mountin caverns using unique, sustainable technology. The investment will mean an increase in the annual production capacity for zinc to 350 Ktonnes and substantially improved productivity while also avoiding a significant amount of future maintenance. In addition to zinc, it will also be possible to extract the bi-metals lead, gold and silver. The increased production capacity together with improved energy efficiency and a new, long-term contract for the supply of fossil-free electricity means a further reduction in the already low carbon dioxide intensity. All of the environmental permits for the operation have been obtained.  "This is one of the largest investments in Boliden's history. By increasing the production of zinc with the highest climate performance while also improving resource efficiency and productivity, we are setting a new standard for zinc smelting both in terms of sustainability performance and cost effectiveness," says Mikael Staffas, President and CEO, Boliden.  The investment also includes several new facilities at Boliden Odda, including a new roaster, a new sulphuric acid plant, expansion and modernization of the leaching and the purification plant, a new cellhouse and expansion of the foundry and quay infrastructure. The major part of the total investment of EUR 700 m will be carried out during 2022 and 2023. The expansion project also means that the level of digitization and automation in the operation will increase, which will help improve productivity. As a result of this significant technological development, Boliden Odda has been granted investment support by Enova and Innovasjon Norge.


Metso Outotec to provide copper smelting engineering, tech to PT Freeport’s Manyar project


July 21, 2021 - Metso Outotec has signed a major engineering and technology contract as well as licence agreements for the delivery of what it says is a landmark copper smelter complex to be built in Gresik, East Java, in Indonesia.  The project owner is PT Freeport Indonesia, with PT Chiyoda International Indonesia being the engineering, procurement and construction contractor. Four-fifths of the approximately €360 million ($424 million) contract has been booked in the company’s Metals’ September quarter order intake and the rest in Minerals’ September quarter order intake, it said.  Metso Outotec’s scope of delivery is based on the licensed Metso Outotec Flash Smelting, Flash Converting and Lurec® technology. It includes the design and supply of key process equipment and process control systems for the main areas of the smelter complex, the copper electrolytic refinery, the gas cleaning and sulphuric acid plant, the slag concentrator and the effluent treatment plant.  Metso Outotec has previously provided certain front-end engineering design and other advance engineering services for this 1.7 Mt/y copper concentrate smelter complex, which is expected to be commissioned in 2024. According to PT Freeport, the Manyar smelter will be the largest copper processing site in the world upon start up.  Pekka Vauramo, President & CEO, Metso Outotec, said: “Our joint efforts with Freeport Indonesia and Chiyoda will set a new standard for the copper smelter industry in fulfilling the strictest international environmental standards and efficiency requirements. We are very happy to work together to implement this game changing copper smelter.”  Jari Ålgars, President, Metals business area at Metso Outotec, added: “We have worked with Freeport Indonesia and Chiyoda for several years to ensure and select the best available process design and technologies for the Manyar project.”  Metso Outotec has delivered 51 Copper Flash Smelters around the world, with the company’s Copper Flash Smelting the most widely applied technology for copper smelting in the world, it said. The solution is also one of its Planet Positive solutions. Using this technology, Metso Outotec’s customers avoided more than 1.6 Mt of CO2 emissions in 2020, the company said.
 
https://im-mining.com/

Freeport Indonesia cancels Tsingshan copper smelter plans
 

July 15, 2021 - American mining giant Freeport McMoRan will not proceed with plans to build a new copper smelter with China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, its local Indonesian unit, PT Freeport Indonesia’s spokesman told Reuters on Thursday.  Indonesian authorities have for months said that a deal would be made between Freeport Indonesia and the Chinese steel and nickel company to build a new copper smelter worth $2.8 billion.  “(We) could not reach an agreement,” Freeport Indonesia’s spokesman Riza Pratama said.  Instead, Freeport Indonesia will go ahead with plans to build a new smelter near its existing copper refining operations in Gresik, East Java.  Freeport Indonesia separately announced on Thursday that it had signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Japanese engineering company Chiyoda to build the new Gresik smelter, which will have a capacity of 1.7 million tonnes of copper concentrate a year.  The two companies will also build a precious metal refinery nearby.  “This contract signing affirms Freeport Indonesia’s commitment to build a smelter in accordance with divestment agreement in 2018,” PT Freeport Indonesia president director Tony Wenas said in the statement, without disclosing how much the deal was worth. 
Tsingshan Holding Group did not immediately respond to requests for comments. The new copper smelter that it wanted to build with Freeport in Weda Bay would have been Tsingshan’s first copper project.  It is building nickel and aluminum smelters in Indonesia.
www.reuters.com


ANDRITZ to Supply the World’s First Sulfuric Acid Plant in A Pulp Mill, Producing Commercial-grade, Concentrated Sulfuric Acid for Klabin’s Ortigueira

 

The plant will be the first of its kind worldwide and is designed to produce 150 tons of commercial-grade (>98%) sulfuric acid per day from concentrated odorous gases and elemental sulfur. It will serve Klabin’s Puma I and Puma II pulp lines at Ortigueira once completed and make Klabin’s Ortigueira site completely self-sufficient in sulfuric acid.  ANDRITZ will supply technologies on EPCC basis for elemental sulfur handling, sulfur and Concentrated Non-Condensable Gases (CNCG) combustion to form sulfur dioxide (SO2), sulfur dioxide conversion into concentrated (98% by wt.) sulfuric acid, and a flue gas handling system. The sulfuric acid plant uses wet-gas sulfuric acid (WSA) technology developed by Haldor Topsoe. The WSA technology has been proven in more than 150 references in many industries.  Once the sulfuric acid plant has been started up, it will help Klabin to control the sodium and sulfur (Na/S) balance and the sulfidity of the mill. Also, the resource efficiency of the Ortigueira site will be improved because less sulfate needs to be discharged due to the optimized Na/S balance, there is less truck traffic to the mill due to the chemical savings, and there is also less hazardous truck traffic because sulfur is transported in solid form and not as an acid. The sulfuric acid plant meets very strict air emission limits and does not produce any waste streams.  The technology used for this plant is based on ANDRITZ’s self-developed A-Recovery+ concept that enables pulp mills to extract side streams from the pulping process and turn them into commercial-grade products/commodities. ANDRITZ recently completed successful start-up of the world’s first methanol purification plant based on the A-Recovery+ concept. A-Recovery+ now also offers solutions for the treatment of odorous gases in the pulp and paper industry as well as for production of sulfuric acid from these gases.  www.newswiretoday.com


Klabin builds first integrated sulfuric acid plant in Brazil 

May 19, 2021 - Klabin is building at the Puma II Project, together with the new packaging paper production line in Ortigueira, Paraná, the first ever sulfuric acid plant integrated to a pulp and paper mill in Brazil, which will make the unit self-sufficient in producing the acid. Supplied by Andritz, the plant will reuse the residual gases from the wood cooking process to transform them into sulfuric acid, which will be used during the production of pulp and paper at the mill.  Sulfuric acid is one of the main raw materials of a pulp mill. “Construction of such a plant means intelligently using the sub-products generated throughout the production chain as economically viable and ecologically sustainable products, thereby adding value to our production,” says Walter Oliveira, project manager at the Recovery & Utilities area in Klabin.  Sulfuric acid is used in several components of the production process, such as drying machines, the tall oil plant and fiber lines, among others. This new technology, besides being aligned with the sustainability that Klabin seeks to implement in all phases of the process using environmentally responsible technologies, also enables cost reduction through inhouse production of sulfuric acid.


Buffalo chemical plant owner disputes state shutdown order 

May 16, 2021 - The owners of a chemical plant in Buffalo are disputing a shutdown order issued by the state over sulfur dioxide emissions.  The New York Department of Environmental Conservation on Saturday directed PVS Chemical Solutions to cease operations at its plant in the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood after high sulfur dioxide emissions were detected at nearby athletic fields.  “Until PVS can prove it can operate without emitting potentially harmful SO2 into this community, either by altering operations or scaling back production, it should remain shuttered,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement.  In its own statement, the Detroit-based company said the shutdown “is not justified in any way" and said it has safely processed sulfuric acid at the plant for 40 years. The company added it was given no warning about the closure order during discussions with the DEC as recently as Friday.  PVS said it “will tone down operations while we work with the DEC through the courts to remedy this situation," the Buffalo News reported.  Complaints about sulfur dioxide odors led the DEC to put an air monitoring trailer near the athletic fields last year, and the agency issued notices of violation after excess levels were detected, according to the newspaper.  www.romesentinel.com  

 

Copper bounces back as bullish investors bet on shortages
 

May 12, 2021 - Copper prices rebounded as investors renewed their buying spree, hoping that supply constraints and buoyant demand would push the market to new peaks.  Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) had gained 0.8 per cent to $US10,465 a tonne by 1600 GMT after a volatile session the previous day, when it touched a record high before retreating to close in the red.  LME copper notched a record peak of $US10,747.50 on Monday, having gained nearly 40 per cent so far this year.  Comex copper rose 0.8 per cent to $US4.75 a lb.  “Physical demand in China is still quite healthy. There’s also tightness in copper concentrate supply, there’s a number of issues in Chile and there’s sulfuric acid shortages, too,” said Xiao Fu, head of commodity market strategy at Bank of China International in London.  Many investors are bullish about a new “supercycle” driven by surging demand prospects from metal-intensive renewable energy and electric vehicle sectors and as the global economy steadily recovers from the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 1 per cent at 76,000 yuan ($US11,819.23) a tonne, clawing back from early losses of 2.5 per cent.  “At these very elevated price levels, some people want to take profits and others still want to chase prices higher. So you have these two forces making prices more volatile,” Fu added.  Also supporting metals markets was a softer US dollar, which held near 2-1/2-month lows, making commodities priced in the US currency cheaper for buyers using other currencies.  The ShFE copper speculative net long rose to 52.8 per cent of open interest on Monday - the highest level since the position rose to an 18-year high of 57.9 per cent in February - from Friday’s 47.4 per cent, analytics data from broker Marex showed.  LME aluminium dipped 0.2 per cent to $US2525 a tonne, zinc edged up 0.1 per cent to $US2995.50, nickel climbed 1 per cent to $US17,935, lead rose 0.2 per cent to $US2217.50 and tin added 0.5 per cent to $US29,930.  www.afr.com
  

Acid squeeze latest obstacle facing giant copper mines

May 11, 2021 - Add sulfuric acid to the list of challenges facing copper miners as the world clamors for more of the wiring metal.  The compound, used to extract copper from ore, is getting harder to come by. A slowdown in oil refining during the pandemic has resulted in less availability of sulfur, a key input for the acid. At the same time, more acid made in Asia is being used locally as industries there rebound. At least one copper mine in top-producer Chile has already been impacted and spot prices have surged.  “That collection of events hasn’t ever really happened before,” said Peter Harrisson, principal sulfur analyst at CRU Group. “In the middle of 2020, it was smelters wishing they didn’t have to make acid because they couldn’t sell it, whereas now, it’s smelters wishing they could make more.”  The squeeze on sulfuric acid, also known as oil of vitriol, comes at a time of surging demand and record-high prices for copper as stimulus and vaccination campaigns stoke optimism about economic recovery, while the metal’s role in the energy transition underpins appetite longer term.  While some smelters produce sulfuric acid as a byproduct, the solvent extraction-electrowinning technology that’s widely employed in Chile uses it as a feedstock. That makes the Chilean mining industry one of the most intensive sulfuric acid users. The nation consumes about 8.5 million metric tons a year, of which just 5.5 million tons is sourced locally, according to government agency Cochilco.  But with China and other countries offering less for export, shipments coming in to Chile fell in the first quarter. That’s already having an impact at some mines.  While state-owned Codelco managed to increase copper production in the first quarter, its Gabriela Mistral mine suffered a 40% slump. One of the reasons for that was a lack of access to sulfuric acid, according to Carmen Zuleta, who heads the union that represents workers at the mine. Codelco didn’t immediately provide a comment.  To be sure, Chile’s ability to maintain high levels of copper output probably faces far greater threats from a slew of wage negotiations or another wave of Covid-19 infections. Still, if tightness in sulfuric acid supplies grows more pronounced and long-lasting, it could affect as much as 12% of production in the country, said Cristian Cifuentes from Cochilco.  While acid contract prices are about US$60 a ton, spot levels have surged to US$160-170, CRU’s Harrisson said. Prices probably will ease back to US$110-140 by year-end as a pickup in refining yields more sulfur, but supply is set to stay “fairly structurally tight” for the next four or five years, he said.  www.theedgemarkets.com

 

 

UK sulphuric acid buyers 'in a panic' as INEOS ends domestic production 

April 22, 2021 - The UK’s sulphuric acid market is in disarray in the wake of international chemicals major INEOS’ decision to permanently close its Runcorn sulphuric acid plant, according to market sources this week.  INEOS announced the formal closure of its sulphur chemicals unit in the UK’s northwest in late March; permanently ending the company’s domestic sulphuric acid production.  In a letter to customers, INEOS, which trades from Runcorn under the name INOVYN, said the decision signalled its “withdrawal from the UK sulphur chemicals market”, following a detailed management review of the business.  Runcorn suffered an unplanned outage in third-party power supplies in October 2020, resulting in the sulphur chemicals plant and attached sulphur burner going offline.  During a controlled restart, INEOS identified that several critical components had suffered damage.  Despite “significant investment”, INEOS concluded it would not be possible to restart the unit for a further 18-24 months, heavily curtailing INOVYN’s ability to supply UK customers.  “Regrettably, the company is therefore left with no option but to keep the plant offline and effect a permanent closure of the sulphur chemicals business,” INEOS concluded.  In the letter, INEOS said it will “work with customers to assist in the transition to alternative supplies”.  However, the departure of INEOS’ sulphur operations from the UK has left a gaping hole in supply for the vital chemical, and downstream customers “in a panic; trying everything to find product,” according to a source at a UK-based chemicals producer and acid distributor.  “We’ve heard INEOS’ supply will end in April. That’s it. Nothing from then,” the source adds.


“We’ve seen prompt purchase tenders for acid issued for delivery within the month. We’re helping one or two customers, and [other UK acid distributors] are doing the same, but there’s no spot available anywhere.”  Acid producers in northwest Europe, including large-volume base metal smelting majors, have also been approached by UK buyers desperate for tonnes; as have those smelters’ customers, some of whom have pondered selling their own contracted tonnes into the UK via road and ferry.  A source at INEOS confirmed the company will no longer supply acid past the end of April.  It was heard the company has attempted to source acid from mainland Europe, but was unable to secure cargoes.  FOB export prices from northwest Europe are at a two-year high, and what spot material can be found has instead been sent to destinations in Latin America, where netbacks on sales into Brazil, Chile, and Argentina are higher.  Asian spot acid availability is similarly limited, making imports from large-volume producers in South Korea or Japan unworkable. 

“It’s a very difficult situation,” a Swiss acid trader says of the UK market, adding: “At the same time, who is to blame when for years traders told [UK market players] that only relying on domestic [production] could be an issue one day when something unexpected happens?”  Although the UK’s acid-consuming industries - including water treatment, chemical, and fertilizer production - were not completely reliant on INEOS’ operations at Runcorn, the plant was the country’s main domestic source of sulphuric acid production capacity.  The UK’s port infrastructure is not built for large-volume acid imports, with most suitable berths having tank space for only approximately 5,000-8,000 tonnes at a time.  “What [UK market players] have gained on price differentials versus imports in the last 10 years has disappeared in two months on a force majeure,” the trader adds.  “In the short term, management tend to forget the relationship between price and security of supply. The sad thing is that even a case like this will most likely not change the mindset in future years.”  Another UK-based acid player adds: “There’s nowhere to go and get some product for Q2. Imports won’t be able to cover the shortfall, leaving the UK bottlenecked. The sea tanks are too small. You need 30,000 or 40,000 tonnes [of tank space], and a strategic reserve, so you always have some [acid].”  In the long-term there is a possibility “someone might build a tank big enough” to support the UK sulphuric acid market, the latter source concludes. www.icis.com


Glencore's KCC mine in Congo had acid spill on March 16

April 6, 2021 - Glencore's GLEN.L Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) mine in the Congo had a "limited release" of sulphuric acid from a tank during maintenance work on March 16, the commodities trading giant said on Tuesday.  Glencore declined to say how much acid was spilled from the tank, but said KCC immediately contained the spill and conducted follow-up monitoring of the environment, and there were no injuries to the workforce or contractors.  "At approximately 7pm on 16 March, KCC experienced a limited release of acid from Tank Farm 1 during maintenance work. There was no explosion," Glencore said in a statement.  "Follow-up with the community was conducted to advise of the event and our community officers have not registered any complaints nor concerns from their engagement with the surrounding communities."  Glencore's statement came after Congolese non-governmental organisation AFREWATCH said a tank containing sulphuric acid had exploded at KCC, causing acid to spill into nearby rivers, and called for an investigation.  Mines minister Willy Kitobo Samsoni told Reuters investigations are underway.  Glencore said KCC continues to engage with local authorities and communities regarding the incident, and hosted a site visit by the Department of the Environment last month.  KCC, which is 75% owned by Glencore subsidiary Katanga Mining with the remainder held by Congo's state mining company Gecamines, produces copper and cobalt near Kolwezi, the capital of Congo's Lualaba province.  KCC produced 23,900 tonnes of cobalt in 2020, up 40% in the previous year.

International Private-Equity Consortium to Acquire DuPont Clean Technologies for $510 Million

February 1, 2021 - An international private-equity consortium consisting of BroadPeak Global LP, Asia Green Fund (AGF) and The Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company (Dussur) announced that they have signed a definitive agreement whereby the Group will purchase the Clean Technologies business of DuPont de Nemours, Inc. for $510 million in cash. As part of the transaction, Tensile Capital Management LP is providing preferred equity financing. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021 subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.  Since first producing sulfuric acid catalyst in 1925, DuPont Clean Technologies has become a global leader in many areas, including: advanced catalyst and process technologies to produce and regenerate sulfuric acid; hydroprocessing technology to desulfurize motor fuels; alkylation technology to produce clean gasoline; and advanced air pollution control systems for refineries and chemical facilities. DuPont Clean Technologies also offers a comprehensive suite of aftermarket services and solutions. The Group and DuPont are working together to execute a seamless transition plan that will serve Clean Technologies and its global customer base both reliably and safely.  Mr. Nadim Qureshi, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of BroadPeak Global, said, “DuPont Clean Technologies is a leader in the sulfuric acid, alkylation and scrubbing sectors, with world-class products and aftermarket services. We are excited to have this mission-critical business in our portfolio. We intend to build on this strong foundation and further expand the business with the support of management and our strategic partners.” “The international makeup of the Group will act as a strong complement to the global operations of this leading platform, and we are eager to work together with our fellow consortium members to drive the business forward,” added Stephen Toy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of BroadPeak Global LP.  Dr. Bo Bai, Asia Green Fund’s Chairman and CEO, said, “The superior technological suite provided by DuPont Clean Technologies will play an instrumental role in helping countries across the world and particularly Asia Pacific tackle environmental issues, push toward carbon neutrality, reduce pollution from mining, oil refining, and chemical industries and upgrade fuel quality. AGF is excited to partner with a synergistic group of co-investors and a strong management team to further the global green impact of Clean Technologies.”  Dr. Raed Al-Rayes, Dussur’s CEO, said, “The Clean Technologies business established by DuPont has unique, environmentally focused, advanced capabilities that present strong synergies with Saudi Arabia’s strategic industrial sectors. We are excited to partner with a dynamic industrial consortium and help expand the business’s footprint across our region and globally.”  Eli Ben-Shoshan, Global Business Director of DuPont Clean Technologies, and future CEO of the intended independent business, said, “I’m extremely proud of the global capabilities and deep expertise of the DuPont Clean Technologies team. We believe this transaction will further strengthen our extensive global relationships to best serve our customers around the world, and I look forward to working with the consortium members to accelerate our growth.”  Credit Suisse AG Singapore branch provided committed debt financing for the transaction. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. acted as sole M&A advisor to the Group. Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal counsel to the Group, and Shearman & Sterling LLP and Squire Patton Boggs provided legal counsel to Dussur. Centerview Partners LLC served as financial advisor to DuPont, and Ballard Spahr LLP acted as legal counsel to DuPont.

 

Nuberg EPC Wins 500 TPD Sprea Misr Sulphuric Acid Plant Project in Ramadan, Egypt

 

January 21, 2021 - A global EPC and turnkey project management company, Nuberg EPC has been awarded the prestigious 500 MTPD Sulphuric Acid Plant project on EPC & LSTK basis in Egypt. The project, which was awarded during the pandemic, is owned by Sprea Misr, a leading chemicals and plastics manufacturer in Ramadan City, Egypt. Nuberg EPC will be the single-point solution company responsible from concept to commissioning of the project.  The 500 TPD Sulphuric Acid Plant project will be based on the latest Double Contact Double Absorption (DCDA) process technology. The Double contact process is used for the production of sulphuric acid in high concentrations that is required for industrial purposes. The project also incorporates a 5MW turbine with a steam-based power generation plant with a complete bypass arrangement. This is the first time that Nuberg EPC is building a turbine unit for electricity production. Sulphuric Acid produced in the plants will be provided to the agriculture industry for the production of urea and other fertilizers.  This project comes as another milestone for Nuberg EPC in Egypt, as it is the fourth turnkey project for the company. Nuberg has also completed three other turnkey projects in Egypt namely, a Caustic Soda plant for the Egyptian Petrochemical Company in Alexandria, a Calcium Chloride plant for TCI Sanmar Chemicals in Port Said, and a Sulphuric Acid plant for AGROCHEM in Alexandria.  Signing the contract amidst the pandemic is yet another achievement for Nuberg EPC. In the Middle East, Nuberg EPC has successfully delivered over fifteen turnkey projects in countries like Oman Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the UAE. This has positioned Nuberg EPC as one of the top EPC companies in the region.  On being awarded the project, Mr. A. K. Tyagi, MD, Nuberg Engineering commented, “We are thankful to Sprea Misr for entrusting our turnkey project engineering capabilities and our EPC services and solutions with its Sulphuric Acid Plant. We are excited to partner with them and strengthen our relationship even further. Armed with competent, qualified, and professional engineers along with advancements in sulphuric acid plant technology, we are committed to commission the project by the first quarter of 2022; faster than the industry average of 16 months.”  He further stated, “Nuberg EPCs scope of services for this project includes Process Design & Technology including Product and Technology Development, Process Know-how & Licensing, Basic Engineering, Front End Engineering Design (FEED), Construction Management, Operation & Maintenance, Detailed Engineering, Project Management, Commissioning, EPC & LSTK Solutions, Heavy Fabrication, and start-up of the plant.”  Sulphuric Acid finds its way through a wide range of applications in the hydrocarbon (oil & gas) industry and is one of the most important industrial chemicals. The major use of sulphuric acid is in the production of fertilizers, in petroleum refining to wash impurities out of gasoline, in derivatives, and other refinery & petrochemical products, in processing metals, and in automobiles as the electrolyte in the lead-acid storage battery.  Nuberg EPC has been providing plant design, engineering, technology, and turnkey solutions to the sulphuric acid industry for 25 years. Nuberg EPC has its own technology specially designed and developed to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of Sulphuric Acid plants. The company is a global leader for not only executing turnkey Chemical and Fertilizer projects worldwide but also serves Hydrocarbon, Steel, and Nuclear & Defence industries globally. 

 

Vedanta mine settles Zambian villagers' pollution claim

January 20, 2021 - More than 2,500 Zambian villagers are to receive an undisclosed settlement from UK-based mining giant Vedanta Resources over their pollution claims.  The claimants live by the huge Nchanga Copper mine, owned by Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), a Vedanta subsidiary.  In 2015, they alleged that toxic discharge from Nchanga had poisoned water sources and destroyed farmland.  In a landmark ruling four years later, the UK Supreme Court said the case could be fought in the UK courts.  In its judgement, the Supreme Court had said the firm owed villagers a duty of care and there was a risk they would not be able to achieve justice in the Zambian courts.  A joint statement from UK-based law firm Leigh Day, which is representing the claimants, and Vedanta said the mining companies did not admit liability but had settled all claims "for the benefit of the local community".  "It was claimed that toxic effluent discharge from the mine damaged local land and waterways used for irrigation and the use of polluted water for drinking, washing and bathing caused residents severe health problems," it said.  The villagers had sought damages and an end to the "alleged continual pollution that they say is gravely impacting their lives", the statement added.  Leaked documents seen by the BBC in 2015 appeared to show that KCM had been spilling sulphuric acid and other toxic chemicals into the water sources.  The communities of Hippo Pool, Kakosa, Shimulala and Hellen said that the Mushishima stream and the Kafue had become rivers of acid.

Glencore in final talks over Mopani sale

January 8, 2021 - Glencore said on Friday it was in final-stage negotiations over a potential sale of its majority stake in Mopani Copper Mines to Zambia’s mining investment arm ZCCM-IH. 
Zambian state radio ZNBC earlier reported the government had concluded talks with Glencore, citing President Edgar Lungu. According to the broadcaster, a deal was likely to be signed next week.  Zambia’s state mining investment arm has been in talks to buy Glencore’s 73.1% stake in Mopani since August. ZCCM-IH currently has 10% of Mopani, with Glencore holding 73.1% and First Quantum Minerals 16.9%.  Glencore shelved its plans to place the operations under care and maintenance for 90 days, after Zambia threatened to revoke its mining license in April. The government strategy is driven by a need to safeguard jobs at Mopani, rather than any desire to raise its shareholding, said Barnaby Mulenga, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Mines.  On a visit to Mopani Copper Mines on Friday, Lungu said the government would ensure the mine continued to operate and no jobs would be lost.  With Zambians heading to the polls in August, President Lungu has been working to win votes in the country’s northern copper belt. The government is also in a dispute over Vedanta’s Konkola Copper Mines, which is under the control of a liquidator since May 2019. Lusaka accused Vedanta of failing to honour licence conditions, including promised investment.  Glencore has invested more than $1 billion in Mopani since 2014 – extending its life by a further 25 to 30 years.  Mopani produced 119,000 tonnes of copper in 2018.www.mining.com