Volclay Siam Bentonite Expansion Project, Thailand

Volclay International (a division of AMCOL) needed to substantially increase their bentonite production capacity and range of products at their Volclay Siam (Volclay) facility. 

Bentonite, a naturally occurring clay, is mined and processed into a wide range of products, including foundry casting materials, detergent granulation and agglomeration, earth drilling sealers and kitty litter material. 

Aurecon was appointed to deliver the detailed process, mechanical, electrical, civil and structural design for the processing facilities as well as site development, services, utilities, roads, and administration buildings. 

The expansion was staged and included the bentonite processing plant, blending plant, and the granulation plant. The processing facilities included mixing, milling, accurate blending, storage, bagging and dispatch, granulation, explosive dusts and dust control. 

In delivering this project, Aurecon utilised the global capabilities of our people and brought together a team of industrial engineers from New Zealand to work alongside our Thai team’s civil, structural and services specialists.

A detailed process review was undertaken to assess opportunities to optimise Volclay’s preliminary concepts.  Aurecon employed 3D design to develop the layouts, review these with Volclay/AMCOL, and to finalise layouts as detailed design progressed.  

AMCOL’s independent project management team, Tractus Asia, delivered the project through multiple equipment supply and installation contracts. Aurecon worked closely with the project manager throughout all phases of the project to ensure that the equipment offered met the performance requirements and layout constraints, and met Volclay’s longer term reliability and maintenance requirements. 

Aurecon successfully delivered all project outcomes including: 

  • Development of plant layouts that met all process requirements, maximised the use of gravity feed, provided for future expansion and fitted within the footprint provided for the plant at the time of Volclay’s initial project planning
  • Optimisation of the blending process to better match the weighing of constituents and batch mixing process with the required overall plant production capacity
  • Provision of effective and safe plant access for operational and maintenance requirements
  • Addressing the explosive dust issues in accordance with the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 68).