Nornickel continues deliveries of multi-tonnage equipment for its Sulphur Programme in Norilsk

NornickelPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel” and its subsidiariesGo to the glossary keeps up the deliveries of large-size equipment as part of its Sulphur Programme in Norilsk. The construction of new facilities under the programme is the CompanyPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel"Go to the glossary’s biggest effort seeking to profoundly improve its environmental performance.

Velesstroy employees install the largest part of one of the ball mills — a drum weighing 28 tonnes

The programme worth a total of over RUB 300 billion envisages the launch of emissions capturing units at Nadezhda and Copper plants. Its initiatives are key contributors to the Fresh Air national project. The technology leveraged by the Sulphur Programme involves intermediate production of sulphuric acid with a high rate of sulphur dioxide recovery — the best proven and most efficient way of sulphur dioxide utilisation in the metals industry. It helps to capture 99% and more of the sulphur dioxide emitted from the units where it is installed.

As at the beginning of December, more than 700 tonnes out of the planned 7,000 tonnes of various equipment were already installed. The assembly of ball mills at the milk-of-lime production section that will make the powder for this important solution is currently underway.

The sulphuric acid products generated as part of Nornickel’s metallurgical operations will be recovered and neutralised using milk of lime.

Contractor Velesstroy has already installed the largest part of one of the ball mills — a drum weighing as much as 28 tonnes. These drums will be in charge of preparing one of the key components of this unique environmental project.

With a total of four ball mills to be assembled, Nornickel had to allocate 400+ cargo spaces on its vessels to transport them to Dudinka by sea. Strong foundations were laid to accommodate the giant machinery. Each of them is a complex engineering structure, which required nearly a thousand cubic metres of concrete to build. The mills assembly is progressing on schedule, with all the four drums to be assembled in the near future. This equipment will run as a whole with other essential project installations.

“The list of equipment is really extensive and includes chemical, mechanical and process units. They come together with a wide range of auxiliary systems — from ventilation to water supply and water treatment. All of them have been ordered and designed using top-of-the-line technology. This will be the most advanced facility to be launched within the Sulphur Programme. We are planning to complete the full process cycle, including start-up operations, in September 2022,” said Pavel Zhigulin, Senior Manager of the Sulphur Programme Project Management Office at Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant.

Mixing tower for sulphuric acid production

Heat exchangers for the sulphuric acid production section — which are the biggest project units weighing over 200 tonnes each — are soon expected to arrive at Dudinka Port.

In the near future, the Company plans to complete thermal envelopes at the slaked lime and sulphuric acid production sections. Plans for the next three months include the construction of building frames and thermal envelopes at three other key facilities of Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant. Installation of equipment is also continuously underway.

A total of 15 project facilities are being constructed at a time, with more than 1,600 people and some 260 special vehicles deployed on a 24/7 basis. At peak times, the mobilised resources are expected to be as much as 6,000 workers.

The gypsum storage is almost 80% complete. In the spring, the Project Management Office will focus on the assembly of process equipment and other engineering systems, with a view to commencing individual testing and start-up operations by the early summer.