$1.1 Billion Copper Smelting Upgrade
China Nerin Engineering Co., Ltd. (Nerin), a leader among engineering companies serving China’s nonferrous metal industry, was contracted to design and deliver the $1.1 billion Tongling Copper Smelting Project within 36 months. Owned by Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co. Ltd., the advancedtechnology smelter is located in Tongling City, Anhui Province, China. To achieve the aggressive schedule, Nerin adopted Bentley’s 3D plant design technology including Bentley PlantSpace design applications and ProjectWise project collaboration and information management software. Bentley solutions improved design efficiency by nearly 20 percent, enabling Nerin to deliver the large-scale project three months ahead of schedule, while optimized plant configuration reduced the plant size, saving an estimated 10 percent in construction costs.
Expanding Copper Production to Meet Growing Needs
Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group engaged Nerin, which has rich experience in mining, metallurgy, public works, civil works, and environmental engineering, to design the plant, with work commencing in October 2009. The smelter, which was completed in mid 2012 and went into production in December 2012, will produce 400,000 tons per annum of copper and 1.45 million tons per annum of sulfuric acid.
The scope of the project design covered production and ancillary facilities for the entire process, from the entry of copper concentrate raw materials into the plant through the production of cathode copper, sulfuric acid, anode mud products, mineral tailings, and other byproducts. A total of 109 sub-items were required in seven areas: smelting, sulfuric acid, electrolysis, slag benefaction, general layout, transportation, and public works. With so many disciplines participating in the design, Nerin knew that effective collaboration and efficient communication would be key to completing the project on time.
Collaborative 3D Design Across Multiple Disciplines
To meet the aggressive schedule, Nerin chose to design the entire project in 3D – a first in the non-ferrous metal industry in China. They selected Bentley’s ProjectWise as the project team’s collaborative design management platform, with a remote virtual private network as the means to communicate with team members at headquarters in Nanchang, Jiangxi, China. ProjectWise synchronized the project data on site and at headquarters, so designers in both locations could work with the same data on the same platform. Reviewers could also see designs in progress and give advice accordingly.
During peak production, 80 designers from 15 disciplines worked together on the project. The 3D plant model made communication among designers and Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group much easier, which in turn reduced rework due to design scheme modifications.
3D Plant Model Reduces Errors
Bentley’s 3D design applications were integral to interfacing the multidiscipline design work, ensuring accuracy and eliminating conflicts. Bentley PlantSpace software products provided a full range of intelligent 3D modeling applications for engineering and design from basic to detailed design. Modules included Bentley PlantSpace Equipment, Bentley PlantSpace P&ID, Bentley PlantSpace Piping, Bentley PlantSpace Raceways, and Bentley PlantSpace SupportModeler. In addition, the team applied Bentley Architecture and Bentley Structural.