Duro Felguera has been awarded a new bulk solids transport project in the Mejillones Bay (Antofagasta region, Chile). It is an EPC (engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning) contract.
The project is called Soda Ash and consists of the construction of a new facility for the transport of sodium carbonate material from the port terminal to the storage facilities, where it is subsequently dispatched to a truck loading station.
The soda ash material comes from ships which are unloaded via the existing unloading gantries onto the new conveyor belt, which runs initially over the quay and then over an existing gallery over the sea until it reaches land and passes through an existing industrial plant. Soda Ash is used, among other applications, in the extraction and smelting of metals, and very importantly in the production of lithium carbonate, used in lithium batteries in electric vehicles.
The scope of the contract covers basic and detailed engineering, procurement, transport, civil works, electromechanical assembly, testing, operator training and spare parts for 2 years. The equipment includes conveyor belts, storage system by tents and auxiliary systems (fire protection, dust collection, measuring scales, etc.).
The client is the company Puerto Abierto SA, a subsidiary of Puerto Ventanas SA, one of the main maritime terminals in Chile. The final recipient of the project is the Chilean mining company SQM, present in industries such as health, food, technology and clean energy. It has 5 business lines with leading positions: Specialty Plant Nutrition, Iodine and derivatives, Lithium and derivatives, Potassium and Solar Salts.
Jaime Argüelles, CEO of Duro Felguera, has valued very positively this new contract “which confirms the undisputed leadership of our Company in the Mining & Handling sector and is an important sign of confidence from our client, for whom we have already successfully executed another project in 2015, in Valparaiso, a copper concentrate shipping system”.
The Soda Ash project has a completion period of 17 months and the development of basic and detailed engineering, procurement and other geotechnical works are already underway.