VALE - S11D: MODULARIZATION & WORKSHARE
Direct Savings: US$ 1,000,000 (1% EPCM contract value)
Losses Avoided: US$ 4,000,000 (4% EPCM contract value)
Other: + Project Viability
+ Stakeholders Synergy
+ Design Quality
+ Construction Planning
- Interface Problems
+ Environmental Protection
VALE was created in 1942 with a focus in the exploration of the extensive iron ore Brazilian reserves and today is one of the largest mining companies in the world. To keep up with its growth, in early 2010 VALE launched its largest investment plan ever worth US$ 19 Billion, US$ 8 Billion only for the installation of a new mine and a iron ore processing facility with 90MTA capacity (the world´s largest), what become known as S11D Project.
S11D is one among many mining block close to Carajas (however even larger) which are expected to hold 10 billion tons of high quality iron ore (67% purity) in open air exploration. It is estimated that block D only to hold around 2,78 billion tons of high grade iron ore.
One of the key difficulties in exploring S11D, however, is its location. The mine is located in the south part of Carajas National Forest, a preservation area, 50 kms distant from the nearest urban centers which are Parauapebas and Canaã dos Carajas (in Para state).
The environmental licenses to deforest land enough to support the entire facility infrastructure and 30.000 workers at peak would be extremely difficult and the environmental compensations could damage project viability.
Unexpectedly, a possible solution for this problem came from one of the cold regions of the globe. Used to the short work windows due to extreme winter cold and the accumulation of snow, Canada mining companies and their contractors have long developed the concept of modularization.
According to this concept, mining facilities are split in small "portable" blocks, which can be built and stored in locations with advanced infrastructure which are transported to their final destination when the weather permits and are quickly assembled with little personnel mobilization. But how to economically apply such concept to a gigantic 90MTA facility?
To win over this challenge VALE hired WORLEYPARSONS which asked IATEC Plant Solutions to join them in this project.
Right in the first weeks of conceptual design, VALE and WORLEYPARSONS arrived to the conclusion that modularization alone would not be enough to grant the environment licenses. It would be also necessary to dissociate mine and processing facility. To minimize the deforested area it was decided that the processing facility would be constructed in a pasture field 10km from the mine and the ore would win this distance through conveyor belts.
Next, very basic models of the modules have been designed and using 3D simulators several module configurations and assembly sequences were tested until an optimal one in terms of transportation cost, assembly time and field personnel requirements was reached.
In this process, IATEC Plant Solutions supported both VALE and WORLEYPARSONS in the use of SmartPlant Review, in the module design and assembly review process and the necessary rigging plan, all this through a WORKSHARE involving offices in Brazil, Canada and Australia.
IATEC Plant Solutions also supported WORLEYPARSONS in the scope division between Canada and Brazil, once local electrical and civil standards required these parts to be locally designed.
Moreover, IATEC Plant Solutions was in charge to design the WORKSHARE strategy between those two offices in order to make module design to be perfectly aligned with construction infrastructure all the time.
Adding to this, IATEC Plant solutions also helped WORLEYPARSONS in the key interdisciplinary interface and 3D model integration, not only between WORLEYPARSONS Brazil and Canada offices, but also between them and other project contractors such as SNC LAVALIN/MINERCONSULT (off-sites) and METSO (conveyor belt supplier).
At the beginning of 2014 detailed engineering ended and despite the huge design and coordination challenge was concluded without any major setbacks. Noteworthy in this project was great level of integration and coordination achieved by all its participants, what was made possible by the precise set-up and management of tools and work processes enabled by IATEC Plant Solutions along its 3,5 years of project participation.
Quickly, the more than 109 modules in which the S11D project was sub-divided started being assembled in a large shop at Canãa dos Carajas, 53Kms away from the construction site, which are gradually transported and assembled in a fine tuned sequence.
S11D is expected to start operations by the end 2016.