In operation since 1903, Serbia’s Bor integrated mine and smelting complex is one of the region’s foremost producers of copper and precious metals. During the last two decades of operation, however, significant impacts on local rivers, wildlife and the atmosphere have been observed. With more stringent Serbian and European Union (EU) regulations now in place, the state-owned complex is taking a giant leap forward into the 21st century.
Lowering emissions, raising efficiency
SNC-Lavalin’s involvement in the project began in June 2010 with a feasibility study and environmental and social impact assessment. That led to the company’s current engineering, procurement and construction mandate, which includes a new state-of-the-art flash furnace, new hoods, evaporative cooling chambers, a new off-gas cooling and cleaning and 1830 metric-tonne-per-day sulphuric acid plant, bulk storage tanks, as well as a waste effluent treatment and disposal systems.
The upgrades will yield a dramatic improvement in copper recovery, boosting the smelter’s potential output to 80,000 metric tonnes per annum of copper from 40,000 tonnes. Meanwhile, capturing 98% of the sulphur from the smelter’s SO2 emissions (complying with the EU’s most stringent standards) should have a noticeable impact on the local environment and social benefits for residents of Bor.
Transferring know-how to the local workforce
SNC-Lavalin has been transferring skills and best-practices to the client’s workforce throughout the project:
- SNC-Lavalin’s workshops on Fabric Reinforced Plastic (FRP) bulk vessels and big diameter ducting have allowed the client to manufacture and provide maintenance services and new FRP products in Serbia and the neighbouring Balkan region.
- SNC-Lavalin is helping transfer operations and maintenance know-how for the new process technology and automation to the client.
- Since there were no major construction projects in the region in the last three decades, SNC-Lavalin outlined, implemented and enforced the most modern health and safety procedures throughout the project.