US Magnesium Lithium Plant
Owner: US Magnesium
Lead Design Firm: Job Industrial Services Inc.
General Contractor: Wollam Construction Co.
Subcontractors: Aluma Steel; GEM Buildings; Jones Excavating; Harris Rebar; JD Steel; Petrochem; Staker Parson Cos.; Wasatch Electric
Utah’s first lithium plant will process 10,000 tons of high-grade lithium per year from stockpiled magnesium by-product. The $60-million, state-of-the-art facility will produce 99.9% pure lithium carbonate for batteries in electric vehicles, cell phones, laptops and other electronics.
The process of extracting lithium from raw materials includes several stages of chemical extraction, product cleaning and phase changes that have been organized into distinct areas within the new plant.
The plant’s design provides operators and maintenance personnel with carefully located access platforms, ladders and stairs; suitable equipment spacing; and organized corridors for pipe and electrical tray and cable. Extensive use of structural steel allows operators to easily travel inside and outside buildings and above and around equipment.
The construction team proposed a plan to expedite the procurement process and allow construction to begin at 40% design. With the fast-track schedule, earthwork, concrete installation, steel erection, piping and equipment setting all took place at the same time.
Wollam ensures that every new employee is mentored and monitored for a minimum of one month by another employee, a process that expedites integrating new personnel into the contractor’s safety culture. The project peaked with more than 150 craft personnel and more than 100,000 self-performed work hours with no recordable incidents or injuries.