JSE-listed Altron subsidiary Powertech System Integrators (PTSI) is undertaking a R30-million wet electrostatic precipitator (Wesp) replacement project at platinum major Impala Platinum’s (Implats’) Rustenburg smelter, in the North West, which is expected to be commissioned by December.
PTSI senior process engineer Grant Westcott tells Engineering News that Implats’ off-gas precleaning system for its sulphuric acid plant at the Rustenburg smelter is being upgraded from two units to one.
PTSI is the system integrator for the project and the Wesp technology has been obtained from gas cleaning equipment specialists GEA Bischoff.
The project started in January, with a detailed design phase by GEA Bischoff and PTSI to ensure the unit was sized correctly for the gas loading.
“Two pieces of equipment had to be replaced because they reached the end of their life. We will replace the two existing primary Wesps with one primary Wesp. The new unit is more efficient, and is up to date regarding the latest technological trends,” says Westcott.
PTSI completed a one-week shutdown at the plant in June to install bypass ducting to enable Implats to demolish the two primary units. The plant is currently running on the secondary Wesps.
The Wesp will remove particulates and sulphuric acid mist from the convertor operation gas before the gas enters the sulphuric acid plant.
PTSI is integrating the unit into the plant and supplying the surrounding structure to support the equipment. The company is also undertaking the electrical supply and installing the civil and ducting works.
Impala will benefit from this Wesp because it will reduce its operating costs at the sulphuric acid plant, as there will be less contamination of the catalyst in the reactor in the plant, says Westcott.