PotashCorp’s ongoing potash facility expansion projects (project management) could be compared to a game of chess. Making one move requires thinking a number of moves ahead and may determine what needs to be done next.
Meet Clark Bailey, the company’s master chess player.
As Senior Vice President of Projects and Technical Services for PotashCorp, Bailey oversees all four of the company’s potash expansion projects: a debottleneck/expansion at Cory, an expansion at Allan, a larger replacement mine and expanded mill at New Brunswick, and a mine and mill expansion at Rocanville.
The Cory project, where construction is scheduled for completion later this year, is 83 percent finished. Once fully ramped up, the facility’s annual operational capability will be increased from 800,000 tonnes to almost 3 million tonnes.
“We have 700,000 hours of construction work left on the project,” said Bailey, who is confident the project will be completed on schedule. “We are already reducing the number of people on site from a high of nearly 1,400 down to approximately 1,200, and they are working to meet the 2010 deadline.”
To ensure the Cory project stays on schedule, a lot of key people are involved. Bailey, who works with them, oversees the plan, which is explained below:
The three other potash projects are also moving along well, according to Bailey.
The Allan debottlenecking project is expected to raise its operational capability to almost 3 million tonnes per year. Construction on the Allan project will include these steps:
The New Brunswick project, which consists of building a new 2 million tonne mine and expanding the mill in Sussex, NB, is divided into several parts:
At Rocanville, the total project is expected to add 2.7 million tonnes, raising the facility’s annual operational capability to 5.7 million tonnes.
The project is divided into two large parts — Rocanville West, the existing location, and Scissors Creek, the new mine shaft location. The Rocanville West portion includes changes to existing support buildings and construction of a new mill, new substation, dry building, rail loadout and a 500,000-tonne product storage facility.
At the new mill, piles are near completion. Foundations are being installed with steel to begin later in 2010. The new product storage building has steel being erected.
Construction at the Scissors Creek location includes a new mineshaft, a new headframe and an office/dry building.
Scissors Creek has the headframe up with steel installed that is needed to begin shaft sinking. The "Freeze" plants have been operational since April and "Pre-Sink" excavation of the actual shaft began in June.
Once fully ramped-up by 2015 these projects, along with our previously completed expansions are expected to bring PotashCorp’s operational capability to 17.1 million tonnes at a total cost of more than CDN $7 billion.
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