Optimization of Capital Cost and Smelter Revenue Integrated Team Rebuild of Barro Alto Furnaces

Author(s): F. Stober, N. Voermann, B. Snider, A. Munsch, T. Koehler, G. Norval, K Belanger, J. McLachlan, E. Piantino, J. Carlos Queiroz, A. Rodrigues, M. Rodrigues, J. Rodrigues
COM 2015 | The Conference of Metallurgists hosting AMCAA, America's Conference on Aluminum Alloys, August 23 - 26, 2015.


The project to rebuild the smelting furnaces at the Anglo American - Barro Alto ferronickel smelter, located in Goias, Brasil, was initiated in September 2013. To optimize the capital cost, while maximizing furnace integrity and robustness, a design basis giving flexibility to ore composition variation was developed in order to ensure sustained nameplate production. The resulting capital efficient, fast tracked project execution was accomplished through the creation of an integrated project team of Anglo American and Hatch through FEL 3 and FEL 4 phases of the project. The integrated team addressed the project challenges through a cooperative and versatile approach, created by access to knowledge, experience and systems in both Anglo American and Hatch. The team could operate at an optimized speed of execution, as demonstrated in the FEL 3 and FEL 4 completion durations, as well as efficiently mitigating any risks of increasing cost or delaying schedule by utilizing lessons learned and team knowledge from Anglo American on the original green-field project and Platinum smelters and Hatch on similar reference ferronickel furnace rebuilds. Other critical drivers of project cost minimization and revenue loss/generation (considering production revenue of each furnace) are scheduled durations for construction, commissioning and ramp-up. The integrated team commenced construction, commission and ramp-up planning almost one year in advance of the shutdown and this paper will discuss the strategies developed to reduce risks and optimize the construction schedule to mitigate revenue loss and optimize ramp-up time to sustained operation at nameplate capacity.