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Feb 24, 2016

Modernization of the Nadezhda No.1 Flash Smelting Furnace Line in Norilsk, Russia

Outotec delivered design, proprietary equipment, installation and commissioning supervision for the Nadezhda Nickel Flash Smelting furnace No: 1 in Norilsk. The equipment delivery consisted of concentrate Loss-in-Weight feeders, silica feeders, high intensity concentrate burner, cooling elements, Process advisor, Proscon automation and Sentinel Furnace monitoring system.

During spring 2012 Outotec was requested by Norilsk Nickel Polar Division to propose a technical-organizational renovation for the Flash Smelting line no. 1 being capable of treating future anticipated low heat-value and more complex concentrates. Outotec accepted the task, which consisted of a process audit, material and heat balance calculations, laboratory scale tests and an industrial scale test run. After the tests, careful evaluation of the technology and debottlenecking was conducted and as a result the required stage of the technological features was derived as described below.

Complete furnace cooling and enhanced integrity

The flash smelting furnace reaction shaft was equipped with double transition cooling elements, settler and reaction shaft roofs were completely cooled with BIC (=Bricks Implanted in Copper) cooling elements,   settler walls were furnished with ICE (= Integrated Cooling Elements) elements and some extra cooling elements were also added to the up-take shaft. The main steel structure was stiffened with thicker buck-stays and with higher compression force springs. 

New feeding equipment
A set of two Loss-In-Weight feeders were replaced with new ones having higher capacity and also two new silica belt feeders were installed. The existing flue dust Loss-In-Weight feeder was connected to the new collector chain conveyor.

Latest design of the High Intensity Concentrate burner
The concentrate burner was replaced with our latest model, offering higher capacity and new features such as annular oxygen, continuous cast surrounding block and a larger distribution cone. Air slides were equipped with nitrogen carrier gas to prevent any post combustion due to the elemental sulfur present in the feed mixture.

Natural gas burners
The furnace settler and reaction shaft were furnished with 20 pieces of NG-burners in order to be able to heat up the furnace smoothly and to ensure uniform temperature distribution.

Outotec® Sentinel furnace monitoring system was installed to cover the whole furnace. Accretions formation, hot spots and condition of the refractory and freeze-lining can be observed easily, allowing our customers to deal with problems in good time.

Proscon automation and Process Advisor
Proscon automation system was implemented to the existing process control system. The new system consists of the automated start, stop and parameter change sequences and automatic transfer of the laboratory assays and process parameters between Process Advisor and the process control system. Process parameter calculation takes into account the realization of the existing parameters and analyses. The new values are calculated based on the existing realization and foreseen alterations. These features offer repeatability and consistency for the operation and avoid human error.

New clay-guns were installed for matte tapping holes to improve operational safety.

Fast project execution and production ramp-up

The contract for the modernization of the Flash Smelting Furnace No. 1 was signed on 20th October 2014, with delivery of the equipment completed in August 2015. Work on dismantling the old furnace started on 1st September, and the installation of the new equipment were completed 5th of November, when the 15-day furnace heat-up was started. There were held five project meetings and three inspection events at manufacturing shops with customer between December 2014 and July 2015. 

The project consisted of 18 supply packages and brought together the following teams during different project stages:
• Engineering: 70
• Installation supervisors from Outotec Finland: 13, Outotec St Petersburg: 9 and from sub-suppliers: 11
• Commissioning team: 8 persons from Outotec Espoo and Pori offices.

The total amount of installation supervision and commissioning services between 15th September and 17th December 2015 came to 1227 man-days.

• 1st September 2015: Shutdown started
• 19th November 2015:  Mechanical completion, concentrate feed to the furnace started
• 15th December 2015: Project Final Acceptance Act signed

We are delighted that the project could be successfully delivered within the agreed timescale, with the planned shutdown schedule of 65 days achieved followed by a rapid ramp-up back to production.

Total feed of 260 t/h, which exceeded the design value, was achieved on 27th November 2015 and the 72 hours test-run began on 10.12.2015. All performance guarantee values were demonstrated within the first three day trial.

Norilsk Nickel and Outotec have developed a long and successful relationship working together on such projects. The Nadezhda smelter was originally built in the late 1970’s and commissioned in the early 1980’s. It has preserved its significance as one the major nickel producing sites in the world. Together, the whole mission was conducted in an outstanding manner by firstly setting accurate targets, followed by the necessary studies and tests, through to implementing Outotec industry-leading technologies to achieve the results. 

A thoroughly successful project, bringing the warmth of a reinvigorated flash smelter back to the cold Siberian winter.

Text: Kari Pienimäki

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