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MEI Online: Control & Instrumentation: Latest News: May 31st 2006


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:: Mintek Process Control Commissioned on SA's Largest Ferrochrome Furnace

Mintek has commissioned its FurnStar MinstralTM control system for submerged-arc furnaces to optimise the smelting process on the new No. 4 furnace at Hernic Ferrochrome, near Brits in the Northwestern Province.

The furnace, a closed unit that employs Outokumpu technology, is the largest ferrochromium furnace in the southern hemisphere, with a power rating of 78 Megavolt-Amperes (MVA).

"All four of the furnaces at Hernic are now under Minstral control," said Paul Brereton Stiles, head of Furnace Control in the Measurement and Control Division at Mintek. "The first controller was installed on the 37 MVA No. 1 furnace in 1996, and subsequent installations followed on the second (37 MVA) and third (54 MVA) furnaces, and now the fourth."

There are more than ninety installations of the Minstral controller worldwide, with the latest including DSCL in India, Pechiney in France, and two at Assmang's Cato Ridge plant in South Africa. Forthcoming installations will include units on the first two 63 MVA furnaces at the Xstrata-Merafe Project Lion ferrochromium joint venture, which are due to be commissioned in the third quarter of 2006.




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