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Sulfuric Acid Plant

Sulfuric Acid Plant

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Recognized with Bentley Systems' Year in Infrastructure Award

1,400 tonnes per-day manufacturing facility

Succeeded in delivering the plant in under two years

Challenges

  • Retained as the engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) contractor for a new sulfuric acid manufacturing plant in a remote southern province of the DRC.
  • Decided not to produce traditional mechanical, piping, or structural general arrangement drawings and instead use the live model for all production needs.
  • Moved engineering quality processed upstream using 3D modeling, enabling them to compress project timelines that would otherwise not have been possible using traditional drawing-based piping isometric quality processes.
  • Overcame geographical and logistical challenges to succeed in delivering the plant in under two years, from feasibility to start up.

Solutions

  • Succeeded in delivering a new sulfuric acid manufacturing plant in the DRC in under two years, from feasibility to start up.
  • Designed a complete, intelligent digital twin to manage and share information among its engineering offices in Canada, South Africa, India, Australia, and the DRC.
  • Instead of producing traditional drawings, the project team used the live model for all production needs.
  • Digital twin approach across the entire project enabled the elimination of traditional paper workflows and maximize the opportunities in data-centric procurement, speed up operational readiness, and improve the interaction with field activities in a remote location.
    • Approach saved months on the schedule, significantly increased return of investment by 20% by reducing CAPEX risks, earlier production, and getting the plant to full production capacity within one week of hot commissioning which is unprecedented in this industry.

Highlights

  • Given the high environmental risks of hauling acid to this remote area and constraints on supply, the client fast-tracked the project timeline.
  • Produced piping isometric deliverables in a continuous "follow-the-sun" progression with teams across three time zones.
  • Distributed project team able to choose from multiple procurement alternatives and allowed them to lower the cost of material supply and to streamline delivery, cutting months off the schedule.

Project numbers

Project cost: USD $245 million.
1,400 tonnes-per-day manufacturing facility
20-megawatt electrical waste heat power generation system with a thermal cooling tower.
Increased return of investment by 20% by reducing CAPEX risks.
10% to 15% cost savings to the client in direct material requisitions.
All materials needed to be transported 2,800 km on roads with sections that are gravel.
Moving the quality processes upstream saved three months on the schedule.
Reducing production ramp up from six months to one week after completion of hot commissioning.

Services & technologies provided

Construction management

Digital Twin

Engineering

Procurement

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