Modular Pilot Plant

GJC Engineers have designed and built a pilot plant which would provide accurate operational information from a variety of sites while meeting the legal requirements for production applicable throughout the world. Because the job of the pilot plant was to gather information for the design of a full scale facility, once the information was gathered, the pilot plant would no longer be required in that location.

The objective of the project was to design and build a pilot plant for the processing of uranium from phosphate deposits that would be economical to build and install but would be easy to relocate to other deposits once testing was completed.

The mine sites chosen for the initial trials were in the USA, but as there are potential sites throughout the world, the design of the pilot plant had to be suitable for operation in any country, using local mains voltages and frequencies (380-480VAC and 50 or 60 Hz).

To meet these requirements it was decided to design a modular plant to fit within standard 40-foot side-opening shipping containers. This would have the following advantages:

• Construction could be carried out under our direct supervision in our workshop in Adelaide;

• The plant could be fully tested and commissioned in Adelaide before being sent to site;

• The amount of work required on site would be minimal;

• The plant would be easily transportable ;

• On arrival at site the plant would be ready for operation in less than one week.

To achieve the necessary world-wide acceptance the process plant electrical and control systems needed to meet all Australian and International Standards as well as meeting standards common to the uranium processing industry throughout the world. In addition, the plant had to incorporate features to ensure it met the specific legislative requirements of the countries in which it is to operate. The other major requirement was that the plant be capable of local and remote operation and monitoring, The local control needed to be simple for the operator while maintaining high reliability. Remote access was required for editing of code for control optimization, gathering raw data and allowing the client’s engineers to view real-time and historical data from anywhere in the world.