Friday 27th May, 2022

DF well advanced on $1.47bn EPC for Roy Hill

Bucket wheel reclaimer just after off-loading in Port Hedland.

Spanish engineering giant Duro Felguera, now internationalised to the acronym DF, is winding down its Perth project office as it concludes a $1.47bn EPC contract for the $10bn Roy Hill iron ore project.

DF entered the Australian market for the first time in August 2013 when Roy Hill’s head contractor Samsung Construction & Trading (C&T) awarded a joint venture of DF and Forge a major EPC package.

While Forge went into administration in February 2014, DF continued the EPC contract – for the process plant and stockyards of both mine and port – in partnership with Samsung.

In the last seven months, DF has delivered nine giant materials handling machines to Roy Hill, with the shiploader the last to be delivered in April and, before that, the rotary car dumper in mid-February.

In summary, DF has engineered, manufactured and shipped: one 13,700 tph stacker; two 5,600 tph stackers; two 16,700 tph bucket wheel reclaimers; two 14,500 tph stackers; one 12,700 tph shiploader; and one 12,900 tph car dumper.

The car dumper is designed for a nominal capacity of 12,900 tph and will tip two ore cars at a time in 88-second cycles.
The car dumper is designed for a nominal capacity of 12,900 tph and will tip two ore cars at a time in 88-second cycles.

 

Work was mainly accomplished from DF’s Perth office, with smaller numbers of staff on site. The Australian arm of the business was supported by engineers at the company’s Spanish head office, with engineering and fabrication of the mainly modularised machines taking place in China.

DF’s Spanish engineering input allows the firm, which is three years into a major international expansion, to remain very cost competitive.

“DF has highly qualified engineers in Spain, but at the same time Spain is a relatively low cost country with it and Europe going through tough economic times,” explained Christian Trulsson, business development manager for DF in Australia. “So we get the best of both worlds, cost competitive but highly skilled.”

 

Roy Hill’s materials handling in snapshot

115 kilometres north of Newman, the 55mtpa Gina Rinehart-backed Roy Hill will be a formidable new Pilbara player.

The process plant uses a wet processing and beneficiating model, since around 70 per cent of ore is below the water table, and such ore would be difficult to handle in a dry crushing and screening process.

At the mine stockyard, two stackers will stack lump and fines ore at a rate of 5,600tph. A bucket wheel reclaimer capable of handling 16,700tph will transfer ore to the train load out facility that can load a 232 ore wagon train in 160 minutes.

The train load is controlled from Roy Hill’s Remote Operations Centre (ROC) in Perth.

Once at the port stockyard in Port Hedland, 344km away, the trains are unloaded using a 12,900tph rotary car dumper, which tips two ore cars at a time in 88-second cycles.

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Ore is then distributed via four conveyors, which can directly feed either of the two 14,500tph ROC controlled rail mounted stackers, or a lump re-screening plant and out-loading conveyor, bypassing the stockpiles to be directly loaded onto a ship.

If not fed direct to a ship, ore will be reclaimed by a 16,700tph bucket wheel reclaimer before being conveyed 3.6km to an 800m long berth and a 12,700tph ship-loader.

“The mine and port stockyards have been carefully designed and modelled to deliver the required capacity and to maintain product quality to ensure that Roy Hill is able to achieve its 55Mtpa capacity with a high level of confidence,” said Trulsson. “Both at the mine and port, regular sampling of the ore is conducted in fully automated laboratories to ensure strict quality consistency is maintained.”

DF’s nine material handling machines were fully pre-assembled and test run prior to being shipped using heavy lift vessels. All machines have been designed with slewing and luffing capability.

DF’s main remaining focus is on construction supervision at the Roy Hill site.

 

From Spain to the world

DF’s appointment by Samsung in 2013 caught Australia’s engineering community by surprise, the firm being, till then, an unknown quantity locally.

However, the company has a long history and a strong track record in delivering turnkey projects in minerals processing and materials handling in Spain and Spanish speaking countries.

In recent years, DF has been intent on international expansion, opening subsidiaries in the Middle East, Indonesia and Australia.

Looking ahead in Australia, DF is eying further contracts. With iron and coal in the doldrums, Trulsson says the firm will also be targeting sectors like gold, nickel and copper.

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