This project progressed a little differently to normal but it is pleasing to all parties to see the plant commissioned. The original contract between Ausmelt and Huludao was signed in April 2006 for the Technology licence, engineering design and technical services and equipment supply for the modernization of the Huludao copper smelter. The scope was to replace an existing copper blast furnace with an Ausmelt TSL smelter and increase the capacity from 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes per year of blister copper.
In May 2010 the plant construction and cold commissioning was completed and operator training had commenced. Unfortunately, due to unfavourable market conditions Huludao was unable to continue with the project and all work was suspended indefinitely.
Huludao announced in May 2014 their intention to continue with the project and renegotiated the remainder of the original contract with Outotec. The renegotiated contract consisted of a much reduced level of support for training and hot commissioning of the plant and the original contract process guarantees were removed as the plant was to be operated with different parameters and conditions.