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November 7, 2012

Air Products supplying ASUs for copper-smelter project in Zambia

Gerald Ondrey

Air Products (Lehigh Valley, Pa.; has been awarded the contract to supply two oxygen plants at the site of a copper smelter being built in Zambia by Kansanshi Mining Plc. The scope of the agreement includes Air Products supply of two 750 metric ton (m.t.) per day oxygen plants, and all air separation unit (ASU) related equipment and design. The construction of the facility will be undertaken by Kansanshi Mining Plc, with cooperation from Air Products. The ASUs are planned to be onstream in 2014.

Air Products has oxygen plants operating at other copper mines also located in Zambia and the local expertise and work at those facilities was 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 client and Air Products. We were able to demonstrate that our technology offering was a competitive and proven product,” says Aled Williams, project manager for Air Products.

“This project strengthens our global position in the non-ferrous sector,” says Mark Northwood, regional sales manager - Europe, Africa and the Middle East at Air Products. “It is a typical example of Air Products drawing on its leading technical expertise to provide solutions and add value for our customers.” Air Products has had industrial gas operations in Zambia since 2001.

In 2011, Kansanshi Mining Plc., the largest copper mine in Africa, produced 230,000 m.t. of copper. Kansanshi is in the process of increasing its current production capacity by 60% to 400,000 m.t. by 2015. The first production from this multi-phase expansion project was realized in mid-2012.


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