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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Middle East & Asia: May 31st 2013


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:: Completion of Kazzinc’s New Metallurgy Project


The highlight of 2012 for Xstrata Technology’s ISASMELT™ team was the successful start-up of the Lead ISASMELT™ furnace in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan. The smelter site, owned and operated by Kazzinc Ltd, is already host to an operating Copper ISASMELT™ furnace commissioned in 2011. The final step in Kazzinc's New Metallurgy project was to build and commission a replacement technology for their ageing lead sinter machine. For this duty they selected the Lead ISASMELT™ furnace. Kazzinc is already reaping the benefits of the new technology, being able to treat a wider range of complex feed materials than previously possible.

XT’s cold-commissioning manager, Dr Brad Barter, said that "the Kazzinc Lead ISASMELT™ project has been one of the most challenging brownfields smelter reconstruction projects that you can imagine. The new ISASMELT™ plant was built on a tiny footprint, bounded by operating plant and equipment. Every major input and output of the Lead ISASMELT™ furnace has an interface with the existing plant, and every cut-in had to be carefully planned and executed to minimise interruption to the existing smelter."

XT coordinated its work on the site with Kazzinc and other contractors under the watchful management of Valerii Tambovtsev, the manager of Kazzinc's New Metallurgy project. The close cooperation between XT and Kazzinc helped to bring the challenging final stages of construction and commissioning to a successful conclusion. XT provided senior metallurgists, engineers and supervisors from Xstrata's operations to assist Kazzinc personnel with the heat up and first weeks of operation. This on-site technical assistance complemented the formal training program held earlier at Xstrata's smelter, and technical visits to operating ISASMELT plants belonging to other licensees in Zambia and China. XT’s project manager, Alistair Burrows, pointed out that this "hands on" method of technology transfer is the key to a rapid and successful commissioning. As a result of this proven transfer methodology, XT's personnel were able to withdraw from the site in November, leaving a fully functioning plant in the capable hands of the Kazzinc operations personnel.




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