Red Mountain Energy (RME) has signed an agreement to provide the equipment for an air separation plant as part of a cryogenic plant for the production of liquid oxygen and nitrogen.

The air separation plant equipment will be supplied for the Compania Guatemalteca De Niquel (CGN), in Guatemala – within the framework of the FeNix project in the country.

The purpose of the FeNix project is to revive the extraction and processing of nickel ore in the deposit near Lake Izabal, in Guatemala. Nickel ore was first mined here in 1974, but for economic reasons the work was suspended for many years. However, in recent times CGN has embarked on reviving production, making sure the new facilities meet today’s environmental standards as required in pyro-metallurgical processes.

Part of this project is to supply a new air separation plant (ASP) for the production of oxygen and nitrogen. The produced oxygen will be used in ferro-nickel melting processes. Nitrogen will be used to provide explosion proof conditions for coal dust. The plant will produce 1,000 kg/hour of liquid oxygen or nitrogen.

According to the provisions of the contract, Red Mountain Energy will design the air separation plant, deliver equipment to the site, and also supervise the installation, start-up and commissioning. Design and manufacture of the ASP has already begun.

Most ASPs of the type delivered by RME are capable of extracting gaseous nitrogen, which in the long term increases production volumes of liquid nitrogen by using a highly effective gaseous nitrogen liquefier with an energy consumption of 0.85 kwh/kg.

This air separation plant technology is based on a low pressure cryogenic cycle developed by Red Mountain Energy experts. Expanded air is boosted in a turboexpander compressor, which increases the air pressure at the turboexpander inlet while energy consumption remains unchanged. This technology increases the cooling capacity of the entire air separation cycle.

In addition to the ASP other equipment to be delivered includes a centrifugal compressor, cryogenic tanks with a total capacity of 120 m3 with atmospheric evaporators, and also screw compressors to supply the enterprise with compressed air.

Red Mountain Energy will supply equipment to the site in the form of modular units, which are ready for installation. In particular, the “warm” part of the plant will be delivered in the form of a single module which will reduce the time it takes to assemble, as well as costs relating to start-up and adjustment works.