The plant will house more than 4,536 metric tonnes (10 million lb) of FRP infrastructure, such as acid- and abrasion-resistant piping, ducting and exhaust fans. Plasticon Canada (Les Cèdres, Quèbec, Canada), one of several fabricators selected to support the project, delivered a wide array of FRP equipment, including 64 cylindrical and six rectangular tanks. The company also supplied scrubbers, demisters, stacks and clarifier circular covers, all fabricated from glass fiber/epoxy vinyl ester. An additional 64 filament-wound FRP storage vessels were sourced from members Ershigs (Bellingham, Wash.), Fabricated Plastics (Maple, Ontario, Canada) and Belco (Belton, Texas). A number of vessels had diameters up to 13.4m/44 ft and heights of 15.7m/51 ft. “Initially, Vale was unconvinced that such large vessels could be made from FRP,” Johnson recalls. In the end, however, Ershigs was able to point to larger FRP structures currently in service at flue gas desulfurization projects in the power industry to prove their feasibility. In Mexico, when the Boleo plant comes online, it’s expected to produce as much as 349,000 metric tonnes (769.4 million lb) of copper, cobalt, zinc and manganese carbonate annually. The six 60m/200-ft-diameter counter-current decantation (CCD) vessels have a concrete base and a thick glass fiber/epoxy vinyl ester liner fabricated by Fiber-Tech Industries (Spokane Valley, Wash.) to protect against acid and abrasion. Nearly 200 FRP launders, manufactured by Structural Composite Technologies (Transcona, Manitoba, Canada), complete the CCD system. RPS Composites supplied the facility’s acid-/abrasion-resistant piping. Plàsticos Industriales de Tampico (PITSA, Tamaulipas, Mexico) is fabricating more than 500 metric tonnes (1.1 million lb) of FRP piping (conductive and nonconductive) and accessories for organic flow service.
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