China: QSLG Builds World’s Largest Magnesium Smelter
Hatch delivers engineering, design and implementation services to western China
Qinghai Salt Lake Group is building a major integrated industrial complex at Golmud, the third largest city in the Tibetan plateau of Western China. The new plant will use residual magnesium chloride brine from the existing potash operation to produce marketable magnesium metal and supply chlorine to a new polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant.
Hatch is providing basic engineering, custom design of key process equipment, and project implementation support for a greenfield 100,000-tonne-per-annum (tpa) magnesium smelter based on Norsk Hydro technology that was successfully implemented at Bécancour, Québec, Canada. When completed, it will be the world’s largest magnesium smelter.
Four 90-megawatt (MW) six-electrode furnaces will produce calcium carbide for the production of acetylene gas, an essential feedstock for the PVC plant. The new furnace design will be developed by Hatch with support from Carbide Industries, a USA producer of calcium carbide products. It will be the most powerful furnace ever constructed.
Hatch is also supplying engineering services for a separate 500,000-tpa PVC complex, which QSLG is constructing at Xi Ning. This includes an additional calciumcarbide furnace, and an acetylene gas generator.
In collaboration with Chinese design institutes, project management firms and the QSLG Owner’s team, Hatch will design and build the magnesium smelter, five 90-MW calcium-carbide furnaces and acetylene gasgeneration plants, making the Golmud and XiNing complexes among the largest of their kind in the world.