The Situation

A mineral processing plant needed to implement a sustaining capital project for their existing ‘vacuum flash’ process slurry heat recovery equipment to avoid significant cuts in production capacity. The equipment had suffered excessive wear due in part to operating in excess of the original design capacity.

The client had generated a preliminary in-house concept involving the refurbishment of existing equipment and the installation of additional duplicate plant.

Scope

Advisian offered to perform a high level review of the client’s concept and was able to identify a substantive value-adding alternative. On this basis Advisian was awarded a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) to develop capital (±30%) and operating costs and technical deliverables for Advisian’s proposed alternative concept. 

After a successful PFS outcome which validated the benefits of Advisian’s concept, Advisian subsequently was awarded and completed Feasibility and Detailed Engineering phases for the project.

Our Solution

Advisian’s solution avoided the need to refurbish existing and install new duplicate plant. Instead, the performance of one of the two existing flash heat recovery units was improved to allow it to process 100% of the entire plant capacity (compared to its original design of 50%, and actual throughput of 70% at the time of Advisian's initial involvement). 

The solution also included several design enhancements that delivered important OPEX cost benefits. These enhancements significantly improved energy recovery, reduced equipment downtime, improved operational flexibility and reduced flash tank wear.

Advisian's solution was estimated to be approximately 30% lower in CAPEX compared to the original solution and offered a 3.5-year payback on improved energy recovery alone. 

On implementation the upgraded system met and exceeded guaranteed performance levels.