News 2016

The plant startup team

The refinery, 11 kilometres south of the port of Toamasina

Munich, September 29, 2016


One of the world’s largest nickel and cobalt mining areas is located near Toamasina in the north-east of the island of Madagascar. The ore reserves in the region are estimated at 125 million tonnes.

After extraction, the ore is transported along a 220-km pipeline to the refinery, where it undergoes several stages of hydrometallurgical processing before ending up as the finished product – ingots of nickel and cobalt, metals that are essential to industrial  production. The refining process involves the use of autoclaves. Compressed nitrogen produced by BAUER compressor units serves as a flushing gas for an array of pipelines.

The nitrogen is supplied using membrane technology and compressed by four high-powered BAUER GIB 26.8-160 industrial compressors. The nitrogen enters the compressors at an intake pressure of 10 bar and is then compressed to the system’s operating pressure of 59 bar. Each compressor supplies the autoclaves with 1,224 m³ of compressed nitrogen per hour. Madagascar’s high levels of humidity and high temperatures generally present a major challenge for the machinery in use there; however, conditions on the tropical island are no problem for BAUER’s ultra-rugged compressor units, which are famous for their long service life.

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