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

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Acid Plant Database  October 8, 2020

Owner Moa Nickel S.A.


Location Cuba

- Moa Bay Mining Company - wholly owned by Freeport Nickel Company, a subsidiary of Freeport Sulphur Corporation

1994 - Moa Joint Venture between subsidiaries of Sherritt and General Nickel Company S.A. www.sherritt.com

Sherritt's current Metals production is carried out through its 50% interest in a joint venture known as the Moa Joint Venture. The Moa Joint Venture is a vertically-integrated nickel and cobalt mining, processing, refining and marketing joint venture between subsidiaries of Sherritt and General Nickel Company S.A. (‘‘GNC''), a Cuban company. The operations of the Joint Venture, known as Metals Enterprise S.A., are carried on through three companies:
• Moa Nickel S.A. (‘‘Moa Nickel'') - owns and operates the Moa, Cuba mining and processing facility
• The Cobalt Refinery Company Inc. (‘‘CRC'') - owns and operates the Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta metals refinery
• International Cobalt Company Inc. (‘‘ICCI'') - is responsible for feed acquisition and the marketing and sale of commodity cobalt and nickel.

Website -
Plant Pedro Soto Alba
Plant 1 Plant 2
Coordinates* 20° 37' 59" N, 74° 55' 59" W 20° 38' 3" N, 74° 56' 1" W
Type of Plant Sulphur Burning Sulphur Burning
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur Elemental Sulphur
Plant Capacity - 2000 MTPD
Emissions - -
Status - Operating
Year Built - 2016
Technology - SNC-Lavalin/Fenco
Contractor - -
Remarks - Estimated cost: US$67 million (2016-Q1 report)
Vessel Fabrication by SiMGETEK İmalat ve Mühendislik A.Ş.
- Acid Pump Tank (Ø3100x14000 mm - 20 ton)
- Drying Tower (Ø6200x14260 mm - 36 ton)
- Interpass Absorbing Tower (Ø5800x21130 mm - 49 ton)
- Final Absorbing Tower (Ø5500x21130 mm - 42 ton)
- Sulphur Furnace (Ø4700x14000 mm - 102 ton)
- Plant Stack (Ø2500x50000 mm - 46 ton)

Site Construction by Teknokon

Teknokon got the title to be the first Turkish contractor to work in Cuba with the sulphuric acid plant project that it realized in Moa city, Cuba. Installation of the process equipment and the piping manufactured in Teknokon Dilovası plants was completed by the Teknokon teams in Moa,
Fabrication: SS converters ,pipes ,tanks
Civil Works: 315 tons of refractory, 445 tons of acid brick lining ,16 tons of aladur beams,12 tons of grid box, 310 tons of intalox saddles
Equipment İnstallation: Drying, interpass and final absorbing, cooling tower, SS converter, process gas stack, acid pump tank, blower, air filter, hot and cold interpass heat exchanger, drums, acid cooler, pumps, sulphur furnace, agitator, hopers and conveyors
Piping Erection: 68 tons of CS, 53 tons of AS, 14 tons of SS, 36 tons of mondi, 56 tons of jacketed pipes, 60 tons of pipe supports, 225 tons of CS ducting, 27 tons of SS ducting
Insulation: 5200 m² of insulation
E&I: Distribution panel, cable trays, power and control cables
Pictures Moa-Nickel-2.jpg (312036 bytes)  Moa-Nickel-3.jpg (76043 bytes)  Moa-Nickel-4.jpg (150203 bytes)

Moa-Nickel-1.jpg (120249 bytes)

   Moa-Nickel-5.jpg (118498 bytes)  Moa-Nickel-6.jpg (34224 bytes)  Moa-Nickel-7.jpg (48274 bytes)  Moa-Nickel-8.jpg (40633 bytes)   
General Moa Nickel uses an open pit mining process to mine lateritic nickel and cobalt ore, which is processed onsite into mixed sulphides containing nickel and cobalt. These mixed sulphides are shipped to the east coast of Canada, where they are then transported by train to Sherritt's Fort Saskatchewan facility for refining into finished nickel and cobalt. Currently, the Moa Joint Venture produces approximately 37,000 tonnes of nickel and cobalt annually.  The Metals business also includes Sherritt's 100%-owned fertilizer and utilities operation located in Fort Saskatchewan which provides inputs for the metals refinery and produces agricultural fertilizer for sale in western Canada.

The nickel production in Cuba is concentrated on the factories "René Ramos Latour", of Nicaro, and "Pedro Soto Alba" and "Ernesto Che Guevara", of Moa, in territory of Holguín in the Oriente of Cuba.  While the Nickel Processor Plant "Pedro Soto Alba" is a limited liability company between Cuba and Sherrit International Canadian Company, the others two ones belong to the government enterprise Cubaníquel.  As average per year, The "René Ramos Latour" produces nearly 10.000 tons of nickel without refining more cobalt, as long as The "Soto Alba" and "Che Guevara" produces more than 30.000 tons each one.

References -
News July 19, 2016 - Sherritt International Corporation announced today that the third acid plant at the Moa Joint Venture (50% interest) in Cuba is in commissioning and has begun producing sulphuric acid. The 2,000 tonne per day plant is operating currently at approximately 900 tonnes per day, with full performance testing scheduled over the coming weeks. The project was concluded within the established construction timeline and completion budget of US$65 million (100% basis), and was Moa Nickel's first capital project to be fully financed by a Cuban financial institution."We are pleased to complete this expansion project and to see it start up successfully on time and on budget," said David Pathe, President and CEO, Sherritt International. "The third acid plant delivers significant cost savings, and reduces fuel consumption. The safety record during construction and commissioning was a 0.48 Lost Time Injury rate with over 1.2 million exposure hours and speaks to the high standards upheld by the Cuban construction workforce."When in full operation, the third acid plant has the potential to reduce the Moa JV Net Direct Cash Cost ("NDCC") by approximately US$0.50/lb, with the savings derived from an elimination of third-party sulphuric acid purchases and reduced fuel oil purchases. Initial NDCC benefits will be realized in the fourth quarter this year with the full NDCC impact expected in 2017.

February 23, 2011
In a pessimistic outlook for its Cuban operations this year, Canadian energy and mining concern Sherritt International expects production declines in all its business areas for 2011.  Sherritt, Cuba’s largest foreign investor, said in its fourth-quarter financial report that it expects moderate production declines in nickel (-2%) and cobalt (-2.9%), and considerable declines in the production of oil (-7.1%) and electricity (-18.7%).  Even so, the company is ratcheting up capital investments on the island. Sherritt expects to invest $50 million in its Moa nickel joint venture in Cuba this year, up from $40 million in 2010.  Also, Sherritt and its joint venture partner Cubaníquel are “reviewing options for the completion of the Phase 2 Expansion and the construction of the sulphuric acid plant at Moa,” the company said in its report, adding that these projects are not included in the capital spending projections for this year.  Sherritt expects to invest $100 million in Cuban oil operations, up from $53 million last year.  The rise is mainly due to eight new on-shore wells planned for this year.  Investments in its power assets in Cuba will be $158 million this year, up from $20 million in 2010. All of the investment will go into the 150-mw Boca de Jaruco combined-cycle power plant.   The company, which makes the bulk of its business in Cuba, logged in a fourth-quarter profit of $73.8 million, up from $48.3 million the same quarter a year ago.  For the full year of 2010, Sherritt registered net income of $222.4 million, up from $57.4 million in 2009. Revenues were $1.771.1 billion, up from $1,474.9 billion.  The boost for Sherritt came thanks to rising prices for oil, gas, nickel and cobalt, rather than rising production.  Despite efforts to increase nickel production in the face of rising prices, sales were flat in 2010 at 37.253 million pounds, compared to 37.365 million pounds in 2009. However, fourth-quarter sales were 9.791 million pounds, up from 9.268 million pounds.  Cobalt sales remained essentially flat, both during the fourth quarter and full year. All of Sherritt’s nickel and cobalt production originates in Cuba.

Sherritt 2nd Q 2010 report - In Metals, full-year 2010 production of mixed sulphides and finished nickel remains unchanged from the last quarter. Finished cobalt production estimates reflect decreased availability of third-party feeds in the second half of 2010. Capital expenditure guidance is 22% ($12 million) lower than previously disclosed. The decrease reflects an anticipated delay in the construction of the 2,000 tonne per day sulphuric acid plant at Moa, which remains subject to securing adequate financing.

July 28, 2010 - Toronto-based Sherritt International said in its second-quarter report that, although nickel production stagnated and sale volume was down from the second quarter last year, nickel revenues rose thanks to higher prices.  Sherritt produced 3,740 tons of nickel, down from to 4,261 tons in the second quarter last year; the company sold 8.27 million pounds of nickel during the quarter, down from 9.582 million pounds last year. However, revenues from nickel sales were $88.2 million, up from $65.7 million last year. The average realized price rose from $6.86 per pound last year to $10.65 this year.  The company said in its outlook for the remainder of the year that it expects construction of a 2,000 ton-per-day sulphuric acid plant at its Moa nickel production facility to be delayed, “subject to securing adequate financing.”  www.cubastandard.com

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

* Coordinates can be used to locate plant on Google Earth