Case Study

Goro Nickel Project - Piping

The Goro Nickel Project involved the construction of a new mine, process plant and associated infrastructure on the South Pacific island of New Caledonia. Solvent extraction technology was used in the process to recover both nickel and cobalt, and corrosive conditions are very severe, with some services involving combinations of hydrochloric acid with aromatic solvents and high temperatures. Fibreglass reinforced plastic was selected for process vessels, piping and tanks for many of these difficult corrosive conditions, and the size and quantity of FRP equipment made this one of the world’s largest projects for corrosion resistant FRP materials.

DSA provided project engineering support to the construction JV, covering specification, design, manufacturing surveillance, installation inspections and training. Along with 52 FRP vessels, the Goro Nickel Project also involved 30 kilometers of piping ranging in sizes from DN50 to DN1200. The installation involved over 24,000 butt and strap joints.

Acting for the construction JV, DSA provided 3rd part design review of the pipe supply from Ameron. At times this involved FEA of joints as well as ensuring that the supplier followed their own design and adherence to the various standards (BS 7159, ISO 14692 and ASME B31.3).

DSA also provided a certified training program to enable laminators to be qualified for the jointing and installation of the Ameron pipe.

DSA assistance was crucial to the success of the pipe installation at the Goro Nickel Project. While being a large installation, it was further complicated by a variety of language barriers (French, English, Indonesian Installers, etc). Ensuring the design was adequate and the installers were suitably qualified was essential to ensure the long term success of the piping systems.

DSA is specialised in:

  • Design of fibreglass process equipment
  • Design of fibreglass tanks and pressure vessels
  • Design of FRP/GRP/GRE pipe and pipework
  • Feasibility studies (cost and technical)
  • Specification and datasheets for procurement
  • Review of specifications and RFQ documents
  • Factory inspections (QA and capability)
  • Testing
  • Failure analysis• Coatings and lining for corrosion resistance


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