The Clean AER Project – An Environmental and Project Execution Success Story


Patrick Sikka , SNC-Lavalin

The successful completion of the Clean AER Project in 2018 represents a significant achievement in both environmental containment and execution of a multi-billion dollar project in an operating smelter.   What began as a project to meet fundamental emission limit requirements for SO2 gas and nickel particulates discharge at the Sudbury Smelter expanded to include additional scope which extended from the Clarabelle Mill right through the Copper Cliff Smelter. SNC-Lavalin was initially engaged by Vale in 2010 to undertake the FEL3 Study for the Clean AER Project and were subsequently awarded the EPCM contract.   Despite the scope being altered over the duration of the Project, the emission target dates were successfully met.   A key element of the scope was the design and installation of new Converters which enabled the primary offgas to be sent to the acid plant as well as capturing the secondary gases thus vastly improving the working environment of the converter aisle.   This scope also required installation of a new Wet Gas Cleaning Plant and a Secondary Baghouse.   Modification of the Processing Plant itself incorporated scope at the Clarabelle Mill and in the Smelter at the Flash Furnaces and Matte Processing Plant.  This presentation summarizes the work undertaken to achieve the goals and highlights the achievements of the SNC-Lavalin and Vale team in successfully integrating change in an operating smelter.