Johnson Matthey is a leading speciality chemicals company. The company has five divisions: Emission Control Technologies, Process Technologies, Precious Metal Products, Fine Chemicals and New Businesses.
Johnson Matthey is a FTSE 100 ranked company that employs 11,000 people with operations in over 30 countries and sales revenue of £12 billion.
PROjEN were awarded an Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract (EPC) to increase the production capacity of Johnson Matthey’s ‘8 Plant’ Manufacturing facility at their site in Clitheroe, near Lancashire. This site specialises in the production of Nickel based catalyst pellets.
Our element of the scope of the project involved the specification, selection and installation of a New Paddle Dryer designed to increase the plant drying capacity threefold.
Other works included a building extension to house the new Filtrate Vessels and Vacuum Pumps, a new Effluent Filtration Plant, site run Chilled water system, modification to the existing Nickel dissolving, White slurry preparation, and Precipitation equipment and modification to the existing services as and where required.
This project presented a number of significant challenges. Johnson Matthey were keen to ensure that downtime at the plants was kept to an absolute minimum. Integrating seamlessly with Johnson Matthey’s in-house planning and engineering department to provide, EC&I, Civil, Structural, Mechanical and Process Engineering services was essential to ensure a fast pace of work and minimal disruption.
As the project and design developed, PROjEN was required to work in close collaboration with various subcontractors such as Boultings who were sub-contracted by Johnson Matthey to carry out the mechanical and electrical installation.
PROjEN ensured that the key contractors were involved early on in the project in order to ensure a smooth transition between design and construction and the maintenance of overall project continuity.
Due to the complexity involved with integrating the new system into the existing infrastructure and the minimal amount of plant down time available, PROjEN implemented a detailed Transit Study and Project Execution Strategy to cover all aspects of the Installation. This approach coupled with thorough weekly design/construction progress meetings ensured the latest design information was made available at all times and cooperation by all parties was maintained. Any potential problems were raised well in advance so there was time to find effective solutions and mitigate disruption.
This approach proved to be successful as an early project completion was achieved allowing production to start just 10 months after the project began in May 2012.
The project was commissioned and handed over in February 2013, on time and under budget. Johnson Matthey confirmed that the benefits have been considerable. Production of Catalyst has increased from 500Te/year to around 1500Te/year. In addition the plants have benefited from improved efficiency and reduced operating costs.
By applying their technical, design, project management and stakeholder engagement skills, PROjEN was able to take a complex and technically challenging project and make it look straightforward.