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Amplats starts construction on Polokwane sulphur dioxide abatement project

16th August 2018

By: Anine Kilian

Contributing Editor Online

     

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Construction of the sulphur dioxide (SO2) abatement project at Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats’) Polokwane smelter got under way on Thursday.

The company will implement new wet sulphuric acid (WSA) technology at the smelter and will ultimately reduce SO2 emissions by an estimated 96%, to deliver the targeted abatement levels at the smelter. 

The capital value of the abatement project is R1.57-billion and it will create around 500 construction jobs, give contract work to between 12 and 14 companies and provide full-time jobs for 30 people once in operation. 

“We strive to continue minimising environmental impacts through innovative approaches as we recognise the value and scarcity of our country’s natural resources, and this technology will ensure that the operations meet both the group’s air quality standard goals, as well international best practice standards,” Amplats CEO Chris Griffith said.

The WSA process captures SO2 gas from the furnace and converts it to sulphuric acid.

This marks the first time WSA technology is used in a platinum group metals electric arc furnace to produce high-strength acid. This technology was selected from forty different technologies due to its suitability to treat gas with the level of concentration at the smelter to yield a saleable product.  

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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