PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) has appointed Black & Veatch to design and manage the delivery of a seawater desalination plant for its Manyar Smelter in East Java, Indonesia, as part of its sustainable development commitments.
The seawater desalination plant will support the processing of mine concentrates from the Grasberg mine in West Papua. The new domestic copper smelter and refinery supports Indonesia’s downstreaming strategy to further refine the processed mine concentrates and brings additional economic value to the local community and Indonesia.
“Reducing water consumption is critical to our sustainable development commitments. Using alternative water supplies is key to resource conservation. Black & Veatch’s extensive experience with alternative water technologies helps position us for continued sustainable business growth,” said Horst-Dieter Garz, Executive Vice President, Corporate Planning and Business Strategy, PTFI.
Black & Veatch, in collaboration with its joint operating agreement (JOA) partner PT Wika, will perform the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning responsibilities for the seawater desalination plant.
“The mining industry plays a critical role in the global shift to a decarbonized and sustainable future. Accessing water from the ocean saves freshwater resources for the local community and ecosystems and ensures a more sustainable, resilient and reliable water future. It also improves efficiencies and reduces operational risks and downtime that affect business profitability,” said Narsingh Chaudhary (pictured), Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Black & Veatch.
The seawater desalination plant will be located adjacent to the Manyar Smelter Project. It will produce over 1,400 m3/h of desalinated seawater to support the copper smelter and precious metals refinery. Designed to process 1.7 Mt/y of copper concentrate, the $3 billion Manyar Smelter is anticipated to be the world’s largest designed single line copper processing facility.
BHP previously hired Black & Veatch to serve as designer and engineer of record on the Escondida Water Supply Expansion (EWSE) project at its Minera Escondida mine in Chile. The project supplies the world’s largest copper mine with 100% desalinated water, removing the need for groundwater.