By Nick Gilbert
Major power and automation technology group, ABB has received an ABB Full Service contract from Namibia Custom Smelters (NCS) to manage and upgrade all maintenance activities at NCS’ copper smelting and converting facility located in Tsumeb, Namibia.
The five-year contract covers the relocation of NCS maintenance and reliability workers to ABB effective July 1, 2012. ABB Full Service contract involves managing and operating a plant’s maintenance function completely as well as implementing and developing expert measures to optimize equipment reliability and productivity. It also lays special emphasis on Occupational Health and Safety specifications for the workplace.
Canada-based Dundee Precious Metals is the owner of the Tsumeb plant, which comprises two primary smelting furnaces and three converters. The annual production capacity of the plant is 200,000 t of copper concentrate, which is produced by treating complex copper concentrates comprising arsenic, silver and gold.
The smelter is one of the few facilities in the world that can process arsenic-bearing copper concentrates. It produces blister copper and arsenic trioxide from the concentrates. The resulting copper is then supplied to refineries for final processing and third party customers purchase the arsenic trioxide. As per the contract, ABB will also retain and expand all current maintenance staff and management at NCS. Moreover, ABB will offer equipment lifecycle, energy consulting and process optimization services and deal with all third-party suppliers and subcontractors at the facility.
Head of Process Automation division at ABB, Veli-Matti Reinikkala stated that ABB Full Service contracts facilitate development in the skills of maintenance personnel and helps in attracting and retaining valuable process expertise on site.