Our client, a company specialising in the processing and refining of precious metals, commissioned ALTEN to design a plant and mechanically engineer the construction of a new factory. The client’s objective was to build a factory where precious metals could be processed and refined to meet market needs. ALTEN was in turn responsible for the design of this factory. After the design work, the local contractors were responsible for building the facility. 

The project was implemented in phases  

The elaborate engineering phase of the project lasted about 18 months. This included the preparation and delivery of technical documents to the client for the local construction work. The commissioning phase that followed also lasted a few months. The plant was ready for use three years after the start of the project.  

Project stakeholders, both from ALTEN and the client side, included: piping designers, process designers, automation designers, electrical designers, structural steel and mechanical designers, product line representatives and project managers. 

Senior engineers’ project involvement 

The ALTEN engineers involved in the project required ample technical experience and expertise, which was the client’s original request. This is why ALTEN’s senior level engineers were selected for the mission.  

The project’s progress was greatly facilitated thanks to the ALTEN’s long-term relationship with the client. This meant that the working processes had already been previously established and ALTEN engineers were familiar with the client’s tools. 

Plant engineer’s versatile tasks in the project  

From the plant design engineer’s perspective, most of the work entailed consisted of the preparation of a layout for the entire plant, the creation and maintenance of a 3D model and piping and concrete design.  

The program used was the versatile Cad design software. The design work was carried out in 3D and 2D. The project was fast-paced and in order to reach its success, the designers’ commitment was paramount. Change management, and the ever-evolving perception of the whole project, presented its own challenges. However, they were overcome by means of active communication between the different stakeholders and thanks to the extensive experience in the field.