8 November 2012

Zambia: Air Products to Supply Oxygen Plants to Kansanshi Smelter

A NEW York Stock Exchange (NYSE)-listed company has been awarded a contract to supply two oxygen plants for the new copper smelter at Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi.

Air Products announced in a statement accessed in Lusaka yesterday that it had been awarded the contract for the supply of the plant at the site of the copper smelter being built in Zambia by Kansanshi Mining.

The statement, through PR Newswire, states that the scope of the agreement includes Air Products' supply of two 750-tonne-per-day oxygen plants as well as all Air Separation Unit (ASU)-related equipment and design.

The construction of the facility would be undertaken by Kansanshi Mining, with cooperation from Air Products while the ASUs are planned to be onstream in 2014.

Air Products has oxygen plants operating at other copper mines located within Zambia and works at those facilities were of benefit in winning this contract.

"The basis for the design of this new plant for Kansanshi comes from the previously constructed plants.

"Being able to reuse the design for these cold boxes created a win-win for our clients and Air Products. We were able to demonstrate that our technology offering was a competitive and proven product," said Air Products project manager, Aled Williams.

He was supported by the company's regional sales manager - Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Mark Northwood, who said the project was a plus to the firm's global position.

"This project strengthens our global position in the non-ferrous sector. It is a typical example of Air Products drawing on its leading technical expertise to provide solutions and add value for our customers," he said.

Air Products has had industrial gas operations in Zambia since 2001.

In 2011, Kansanshi Mining produced 230,000 tonnes of copper.

The First Quantum Minerals (FQM)-owned mining house is in the process of increasing its current annual production capacity by 60 per cent to 400,000 tonnes by 2015.

The first production from this multi-phase expansion project was realised in mid-2012, resulting in the 42-per cent rise in copper production for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012, as compared to the figures for the same quarter in 2011.

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