Ausenco was retained by Compania Minera Antamina S.A. (CMA) to perform a full range of engineering services on their copper/zinc concentrate slurry pipeline system – the first multi-product slurry pipeline in a mountainous region.
The 304 kilometre, 8/9/10-inch diameter steel pipeline was designed for the transportation of a maximum of 1.4 million tonnes per year (Mt/y) of copper and zinc concentrates from the Antamina mine site in Northern Peru (elevation 4,100 metres above sea level) to terminal facilities at Huarmey.
In addition to performing preliminary study work, basic engineering and detailed engineering for the pipeline system, Ausenco was also the design/build integrator for both the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and telecommunication systems.
As the pipeline traverses extremely remote areas of the Peruvian Andes, the SCADA and telecom systems had to be highly reliable, self-contained and easy to install.
To minimise site assembly and utility power requirements, the systems were fabricated and then pre-installed in prefabricated building packages (modified ISO-standard shipping containers). The buildings, also of Ausenco design, included batteries, solar panels, and backup generators.
The installed SCADA system is based on Allen-Bradley PLCs and Wonderware Intouch HMI software, and consists of ten sites spread along the pipeline. Central control is available from either end of the pipeline.
Communication is via a Nortel Network SONET fibre optic network, using Ethernet and TCP/IP protocols. The fibre optic network, which has redundant fibres and a radio backup channel, also carries voice, data and video for the project.
To further optimise control and monitoring of the pipeline, Ausenco’s Pipeline Advisor™ and Pipeline Simulator™ software solutions were installed for real-time pipeline monitoring, process optimisation, leak detection, operations simulation and operator training.
The complete turnkey SCADA package was completed under contract with CMA and the telecom system was provided under contract with Bechtel International.
The pipeline system, including SCADA and telecom systems, was successfully commissioned in 2001.