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Aurecon wins international award at IChemE 2012

Vacuum Plant on the Mount Maunganui factory site

The Vacuum Plant on the Mount Maunganui factory site

12 November 2012 - Aurecon has won the Food and Drink Award in the annual IChemE awards 2012 at the ceremony held in Manchester, England on Thursday 1 November 2012.

The award recognises innovation to optimise manufacturing operations, and contribute to safe, nutritious and affordable food to an international market.

The Dominion Salt Vacuum Plant Upgrade Project was to cost effectively increase production capacity for the manufacture of both pharmaceutical and food grade salt by 50 per cent. The new facility, designed by Aurecon, has increased plant capacity by 63 per cent and significantly improved pharmaceutical grade production capability enabling Dominion Salt to meet growing export demand. 

A major challenge was to minimise capital cost while significantly improving plant-operating efficiency in the Vacuum Plant on the Mount Maunganui factory site in New Zealand.

Aurecon met the challenge by expanding the existing three effect evaporator into a new five effect evaporator. This was a more cost effective option than installing a second evaporator, and resulted in improved plant efficiency by utilising the plant’s existing steam generation capacity.

Shane Dufaur, CEO of Dominion Salt, stated: “We are delighted with how Aurecon was able to recognise the opportunity to apply known evaporation plant technology to significantly expand the Vacuum Plant capacity in a cost effective and energy efficient manner with a configuration that provides for the simultaneous production of both pharmaceutical and food grade salt. The energy efficient design and expanded volume have allowed us to continue our rapid export growth strategy without compromising existing customer demand.”

Aurecon developed the project concept and engineering design in conjunction with Dominion Salt and equipment suppliers. The team was engaged to provide overall project management and to prepare and manage the major equipment supply and plant installation contracts.

Aurecon also developed a design that provides for the simultaneous manufacture of pharmaceutical and food grade salt in the one evaporator, eliminating the need for separate batched campaigns and associated plant downtime. This makes the upgraded plant novel, as no other plants are manufacturing salt in this manner in New Zealand.

Paul Stephenson, Aurecon Dominion Salt Vacuum Plant Upgrade Project Leader said, “I am honoured to have been part of the team to receive an IChemE award for chemical engineering innovation and excellence. This is a great achievement for all who worked on the project.”

Don Bell, Industry Leader Manufacturing added: “Aurecon is proud to be internationally recognised for leadership in the development of innovative engineering solutions and optimising manufacturing operations.”

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