Apr 04, 2011

HPD to Design Equipment for Brazilian Potash Project

Project for Vale will include evaporation and crystallization processes

Vale has selected HPD, a Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies company, to provide the engineering design for evaporation and crystallization equipment for the Carnalita potash project in the state of Sergipe in Brazil. The award is part of the first phase of development for the initial 1.2-million-metric-tons-per-year (mtpy) production of potassium chloride expected to begin in 2015. This project will be the largest potash extraction facility in Brazil.

HPD’s evaporation and crystallization equipment will purify natural deposits from solution mining operations of carnalite for producing potassium chloride that will be sold as chemical fertilizer in the Brazilian market. The major process equipment is comprised of a multiple-effect evaporation system followed by a multiple-stage crystallization system. Overall, this equipment will produce a high-purity product to Vale’s standards as well as maximize steam economy and provide condensate for reuse in solution mining operations.

The scope of this first phase of development will include both basic and detailed engineering for the various portions of the evaporation plant towards a full project release. HPD also will conduct pilot testing at its Research and Development Center in the United States to ensure process design parameters.

Vale selected HPD for this phase of the project due to its experience in the potash and fertilizer industry as well as a cost-effective solution.

Vale is a mining company that transforms mineral resources into essential ingredients for people’s daily lives and is the world’s second-largest diversified mining company by market capitalization. It is the world’s largest producer of iron ore and pellets and the world’s second largest producer of nickel. It also produces copper, manganese, ferroalloys, thermal and coking coal, potash, bauxite, alumina, aluminium, cobalt and platinum group metals. Vale has offices and operations in more than thirty countries on five continents.