Case Study Metals Extraction Facility Venezuela

GSA Staff  |  09 - 03 - 2023

Metals Extraction Facility—PDVSA, Amuay Venezuela

GSAe undertook the CEP and BEP phases for a new plant to extract vanadium and nickel from

This is an environmental solution for PDVSA to extract what is becoming an increasingly strategic metal, and based on the following considerations:

    • Vanadium and Nickel are the major metals in crudes.

    • They are transition metals, classed as heavy metals, and pose inhalation hazards.

    • Nickel salts are classified as class A carcinogenic to humans. (UK HPA)

Project Details:

    • Amuay Refinery - 630kbpd heavy crude

    • Generating 38,000 tonnes per year flexicoker residues (largest flexicoker unit Worldwide)


    • 4,500 tonnes per year vanadium pentoxide

    • 450 tonnes per year nickel

Strong business case:

    • CapEx $87m (class II est.)

    • Revenues $60m per year

    • Very tight environmental controls into Amuay Bay

In completing the work we undertook:

    • Pilot and commercial plant trials at our plant in Harwich, UK

    • Successfully completed the Conceptual and Basic Engineering Design Packages -

25,000 man-hours over 18 months

    • Worked with PDVSA to develop an implementation strategy

Commercially viable, environmentally

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