Strategic Precious Metals Processing (SPMP) has contracted WorleyParsons Oman Engineering, with support from WorleyParsons RSA, to execute the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) for the world’s first world’s first major antimony roaster outside of China in decades, designed to modern environmental standards. The Oman Antimony Roaster (OAR) will be constructed in Sohar, located within the Free Port Zone of the Sultanate of Oman. The plant location is ideal for the trading facilities available to SPMP.
The Oman Antimony Roaster Project will be a commercial plant where the feed to the plant will originate from across the globe. The plant involves a roasting, gas treatment and smelting process. The main product streams of the processing plant includes high grate antimony ingots, powdered antimony trioxides, gypsum and gold bullions.
The project highlights WorleyParsons’ ability to leverage off its global WorleyParsons network, drawing on engineering, procurement and construction management skills from three of the company’s locations around the world. WorleyParsons RSA will execute the engineering and procurement scope from South Africa in conjunction with WorleyParsons in Australia (Adelaide and Perth). The WorleyParsons Oman Engineering team, which played a key role in pursuing this strategic customer and which provided support and advice to the customer throughout the discussions leading to the award, will be fulfilling the construction management scope with strong support from both WorleyParsons RSA and Australia.
WorleyParsons Oman Engineering has been operating in Oman for over 25 years in multiple business sectors and has two offices in the Sultanate that employ over 1 000 people. WorleyParsons’ Oman operations is focused on achieving In-Country Value and supporting the development of Oman through the company’s global delivery centres. The company is a recognized leader in Omanisation, a strategic initiative employed by the Omani government to ensure that Omani nationals are well represented in industry and that they are trained and developed
Senior Project Manager for WorleyParsons RSA, Dhirendra Ghoorah, believes that WorleyParsons Oman Engineering’s in-depth understanding of the challenges of operating in the Omani market and the team’s insight and advice to the customer, combined with the wealth of technical expertise from WorleyParsons RSA and Australia, played a key role in securing the contract.
“SPMP had already undertaken to select the majority of their vendors from South Africa, so the proposal emphasized our dual presence in South Africa and Oman, as well as our highly skilled resources, vendor engagement experience required on the project and the ability for the client to leverage WorleyParsons’ system tools & procedures,” says Ghoorah.
“As a small start-up company, SPMP required a partner to guide them through their first project, and were seeking to improve their business management and technology direction. WorleyParsons had the expertise to fulfill these requirements,” he adds.
Fairly recent discoveries for the uses of antimony now make it a highly sought-after product. Its two main applications are as a flame retardant element in plastics and as an additive to polyester resins for light aircraft engine covers. Metallic antimony is also used as an alloying material for lead and tin and for lead antimony plates in lead-acid batteries.
The methods for producing antimony in a modern and environmentally advanced manner were developed by SPMP and recent tests have confirmed the viability and efficacy of this innovative furnace technology to produce antimony metal. SPMP foresees that such innovations will differentiate their product and quality when compared to other traditional metal reduction methods once the plant reaches full production.
SPMP is an Oman registered company and will invest approximately $70 million on establishing the 20 000 tonnes per annum capacity antimony and associated products plant at Sohar. The Sultanate’s sovereign wealth fund, Oman Investment Fund (OIF) and Tri-Star Resources each have a 40% equity interest in the project company while DNR Industrials LTD holds the remaining 20%.