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Jul 5, 2017

Startup of Huludao's new Outotec Ausmelt TSL copper smelter

The Outotec Ausmelt TSL copper smelter at Huludao was successfully commissioned from October to December 2014. Huludao Non-Ferrous Metals Group Co Ltd is located in Huludao City, Liaoning Province, China.
Ausmelt TSL

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.

 copper smelter at Huluda

Hot commissioning commenced in late October supervised by an Outotec team comprising Ross Baldock, Stefanie Creedy and Ben Van Wissen from Melbourne and Charlie Gao from Shanghai. Following a well controlled refractory preheat and a day of slag smelting, concentrate smelting commenced on the 30th of October. The first blister was cast from the P/S converters on 1st November.

During the commissioning the smelting rate was limited to 30 – 55 wet tonnes per hour [design is 78 wet tonnes per hour] due to problems in the sulphuric acid plant and P/S converters. When operating at full capacity the smelter will treat 500,000 tonnes per year of concentrates and produce in excess of 100,000 tonnes per year of blister copper.

Huludao is a coastal city on the Bohai Sea in the southwest of Liaoning province. Huludao is endowed with a number of scenic areas and sites of historical interest, and attracts many domestic tourists in summer by virtue of its picturesque sandy beaches. Even with winter fast approaching a walk along the beach and a stop for some refreshments was a welcome break for the Outotec crew.

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