Mount Maunganui PDV Refinery Upgrade, New Zealand

Aurecon's project management services paved the way for this award-winning successful expansion

When Dominion Salt required a minimum 50 per cent increase in salt production and the ability to produce more high value pharmaceutical salt at their Mount Maunganui salt plant in New Zealand, Aurecon, in association with its client, Dominion Salt and equipment suppliers, were tasked with developing the project concept and detailed design for the expansion.

Aurecon prepared and project managed the equipment supply and installation contracts for the main evaporation plant and new steam turbine from construction through to plant commissioning, while Dominion Salt designed and managed the installation of the new dryer and associated packing plant.

A major challenge was to minimise capital cost while significantly improving plant operating efficiency.

A solution to this challenge was to expand 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.

Aurecon also developed a design that provides for the simultaneous manufacture of pharmaceutical and food grade salts, thereby eliminating the need for separate batched campaigns and associated plant downtime.

The new facility has increased plant capacity by 63 per cent to 76,000 tonnes per annum, and has significantly improved the client’s pharmaceutical grade production capability to enable Dominion Salt to meet growing export demand.

The project was awarded silver at the 2012 Innovate NZ Engineering Awards and won the Food and Drink Award at the IChemE awards 2012.

It was also recognised with an innovation award by New Zealand’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

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