Albemarle’s jointly owned lithium mine at Greenbushes in Western Australia supplied 30 percent of the world’s lithium production in 2016, with further capacity since added. The company decided to develop a plant in nearby Kemerton to convert the spodumene product from Greenbushes into lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM). The plant comprises two trains, with each train including several evaporation and crystallisation units. We were engaged to deliver a range of crystallisation modules, including two PLS evaporators, two anhydrous sodium sulphate (SSA) crystallisers, and one ZLD (zero liquid discharge) crystalliser.
All the evaporative vessels are forced circulation type and were designed to operate continuously for long run lengths, providing safe and efficient plant operation with minimal operator intervention. The tailored design features mechanical vapour recompression for all evaporative vessels to minimise energy input into the plant. JordProxa technology also enables zero liquid discharge for environmentally responsible handling of the lithium plant waste streams and recovers valuable water from the system to be used in the plant.
The plant was successfully delivered during the COVID pandemic, with all module assembly completed in the workshop and Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) concluded prior to shipping to reduce site activities. As international travels were not possible during Covid, JordProxa introduced remote FAT procedures to enable the client and their EPC partner to witness the tests remotely, which allowed us to deliver the plants without affecting the project schedule. Commissioning of the plant is currently underway.
- Battery grade lithium hydroxide process
- Supply 2 x PLS evaporators, 2 x SSA crystallisers, 1 x ZLD crystalliser
- Modular delivery
- MVR for energy efficiency
- Modules assembled in workshop and FATs done prior to shipping which reduced site activities