A new milestone for the PUMA project at SOMAIR!


March 21, 2013

Finalizing the foundation blocks - Laying of heavy equipment

Foundations: first stage complete

Since October 2012, the local company GEPCO, which is in charge of earthworks and civil engineering, has been carrying out preparatory work for the construction of the new plant. After leveling a surface of 1 200m2, the company poured almost 500m3 of concrete to construct the blocks that will support the main equipment in the new unit.

This initial civil engineering stage was completed to schedule and to the high level of precision required by the prime contractor (with the positioning of anchors accurate to within a millimeter).

Equipment assembly: the next milestone

Thanks to the high quality of the foundations, the Italian company BALLESTRA, the prime contractor for the PUMA project, was able to start the assembly of heavy equipment on March 7.

The converter, the sulfur furnace and the drying column of the future production plant have already been successfully positioned. Measuring 16 meters high and weighing 35 metric tons, the converter is the largest element. It was installed through collaboration with the Imouraren site, which provided the worksite with a 160-ton crane for the task.

According to Jean Jourde, Director of Operations at the SOMAIR site: “All the actors mobilized for the PUMA project are working with great efficiency and rigor. The various partners involved have developed a high level of cooperation in order to meet the tight schedule for this project. With the completion of the foundations and the start of assembly, the PUMA unit is drawing closer to the commissioning tests, which are scheduled for the end of the summer.”

* PUMA: Petite Unité pour les Manques d’Acide (additional sulfuric acid production unit)