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MEI Online: Materials Handling: Latest News: May 13th 2010


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:: India's Longest Single Flight Conveyor System for Utkal Project

Bateman Engineering has been awarded a USD92.5 million turnkey contract by Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL) to supply a 19 km overland conveyor system for its greenfields Utkal Alumina project in Tikri, Raigada, in the Orissa state of India.

This is the longest single flight conveyor system to be installed to date within Indian territory. It will transport bauxite from the mines to the new 4.5 MTPA alumina plant at a conveying rate of 3,135 t/hr. The system will comprise two single flight conveyors: a 14.5 km long and a 4.5 km long conveyor. The conveyor system has a drop of 250 m, passing through valleys, crossing several rivers and water bodies and several road crossings. In its total span of travel, the conveyor system has 45 crossings.

The conveyor system will be sourced via Bateman Engineered Technologies, part of the Bateman Engineering Group and a leader in materials handling, with the scope of the project covering design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, erection, testing, commissioning and performance guarantee testing.

The contract has a duration of 29 months, at the end of which performance guarantee testing is expected to take place. The design and engineering phase is taking place at Bateman Engineered Technologies’ facilities in South Africa, with some of the conveyor components sourced from South Africa, and the rest from reputed manufacturers in India.

Bateman Engineering was awarded the contract due to its well established expertise in long distance conveyor technology as well as its competitive pricing. Two technologies were initially considered, overland trough belt conveying and cable belt, with the client selecting the former due to its many advantages in such an inhospitable and remote terrain. In addition, a major advantage of using trough belt conveying was that almost all the components and spares for trough belts are available in India with a very small percentage of imported components. With cable belts, all the components including the spares have to be sourced from outside India. Furthermore, cable belt technology has the disadvantages of spillage due to its shallower belt trough (almost flat with a maximum trough of 20°) and greater power consumption.

UAIL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hindalco, which is part of the giant Aditya Birla Group. Hindalco owns and operates a number of bauxite mines in Orissa as well as in other parts of India. It is currently establishing the alumina refinery at Tikri to expand processing capability servicing the Orissa mines. Mechanical completion of the plant and the first alumina is expected to be produced in 2012.




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