Built on our longstanding relationship of over thirty years, Beca is proud to be partnering with PT Vale Indonesia on a series of remarkable furnace rebuild projects that support sustainable nickel production in Indonesia.

With commodities like Class 1 Nickel playing a key role in our developing energy transition, PT Vale’s four electric arc furnaces at Sorowako Sulawesi are a key part of the global supply equation. These hardworking vessels have a finite life, necessitating full rebuild from time to time.

Equipped with our capital project experience with PT Vale and an on-site presence since 1995, Beca has been trusted to play a leading role in delivering engineering services for four furnace rebuild projects since 1997, and most recently in 2022. Scopes have typically included engineering design, procurement, project management (EPPM), and construction management (CM), delivered by our teams in Sorowako, Auckland, and Jakarta.

Effective shutdown management with safe and effective methodologies played an integral role in the replacement and upgrade of these electric furnaces – with each day’s loss of nickel production costing approx USD $1,000,000. Our innovative approach dramatically reduced the required shutdown duration and have become standard protocol in subsequent projects.

Optimising the size of prefabricated components, preparatory practising of critical path activities, and designing significant temporary works that enable safe parallel work on multiple fronts – all of which required detailed planning and a creative approach to the design and construction process – were key. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we were still able to provide a ‘hands on’ approach to our project delivery.

What’s next? Design work is currently underway for a fifth furnace rebuild project in 2025. Our continuing work with PT Vale is testament to our decades-long, collaborative relationship together to deliver complex projects on brownfield sites, and our commitment to strong global partnerships and local expertise.

115 days

Shortest shutdown duration

$110 million

Largest capital value (USD)

9 offices

Working on furnace rebuilds

New furnace bottom beams being installed on repaired foundation ridges
Start of reclaimed charging material and electrode coke bins set up inside rebuilt furnace
Completion of skewback brick installation before start of sidewall refractory
New furnace bottom beams being installed on repaired foundation ridges

Our People

Malcolm McCabe

Senior Technical Director - Mechanical Engineering

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