There is a reason Chemical Processing tapped the expertise of Dirk Willard to be the Field Notes editor – he's often in the field facing the same challenges our readers face on a daily basis.
According to Willard, he gets out in the field quite a bit, depending on the assignment. When he worked at Citgo and BP he was out in the field everyday, sometimes most of the day.
He is about to embark on another field assignment in New Caledonia for International Steel Services, Inc. (ISSI) a design-build company in the mining industry.
"I have worked for the company in the past as a senior process engineer," says Willard. "They're known for their (HCl) acid regeneration plants. These plants are either built for a steel mill or co-owned by ISSI and run by them for a steel mill."
The particular assignment is for Vale, a Brazil-based mining company that took over Inco, an American mill operation specializing in nickel alloys.
"My part in the work was to design a contact condenser and other process equipment and develop the control strategy," says Willard. "Ours was the bulk of the hydrolysis part of 23 processing steps used to convert raw, rich nickel ore into ingets."
The goal: Commissioning and start-up of the hydrolysis process. Willard will be there one month and then return to the states for a long-term visa.
"I may, or may not, be going out for one to six additional months. I am filling in for a friend who has business in India and China that overlaps with this work in New Caledonia."
For some additional information:
New Caledonia's huge Goro nickel project under siege again
Stayed tuned for updates from the field!
Senior Digital Editor