Trimegah Bangun Persada

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EV Exploration: Harita Nickel improves energy efficiency in production process

11 December 2023, NORTH MALUKU - PT Trimegah Bangun Persada Tbk (NCKL) or Harita Nickel continues to strive for effective and efficient energy usage in the company's nickel processing process.

Harita Nickel's Head of Technical Support, Rico Windy Albert, stated that an example of optimal energy usage in the company's production facilities has been implemented in one of its subsidiary's nickel smelters, namely PT Halmahera Jaya Feronikel (HJF).

This smelter processes high grade nickel ore or saprolite into ferronickel using a pyrometallurgical processing system called the Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace (RKEF). Rico mentioned that to support the operation of this smelter, the company has 4 units of steam power plants, each generating 150 megawatts of electricity for a total of 600 megawatts.

"The energy generated by these steam power plants uses coal gasification, which makes the combustion cleaner," said Rico when interviewed by the EV Exploration team in Kawasi, Obi Island, North Maluku. He explained that the efficiency of energy use in the production process is achieved by applying a heat recovery system at each stage of ferronickel production.

He explained that the heat recovery system was implemented to effectively utilize all the energy generated by coal gasification in the steam power plant (PLTU). 

He explained that the excess heat generated in the process of melting nickel ore in the electric furnace would be used in the previous production stage, namely calcination in the rotary kiln. Subsequently, the excess heat in the calcination process would also be used in the earlier stage of ferronickel production, namely the drying of nickel ore.

In addition, the HJF smelter has a water management system that can be reused in the production process. "We have a reservoir that collects rainwater and water from nickel processing; we pump it until it can be used in the smelter, so nothing is wasted," Rico said.

Separately, Harita Nickel's Environmental Superintendent, Indra Maizar, explained that the company has a specific water management system for the purposes of nickel production activities. Indra mentioned that Harita Nickel has two special ponds designed to collect rainwater and water from production activities at the smelter.

He explained that the rainwater collected in these ponds is pumped to the company's smelter facility for use in the production process. The wastewater from the production activities is then returned to another pond for storage. "This water is later pumped to the smelter for reuse in the nickel processing process," Indra said.

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