Wakefield engineering firm wins six-figure contract

Inprotec's Wakefield HQ

Thermal and metallurgical engineering firm Inprotec has been awarded a six-figure contract by Spain-based Azor Ambiental, a world leader in the recovery of lead contained in exhausted automotive batteries.

The contract will see Wakefield-based Inprotec design, manufacture and install replacements and upgrades to the company’s existing fleet of Short Rotary Furnaces, which are used for smelting as part of the lead recovery process.

The contract marks the latest chapter in a long-standing partnership between the two businesses dating back to the early 2000s, when G.A. Oldroyd Ltd, a predecessor company to Inprotec, first installed the current furnaces.

The two-year project will help Azor Ambiental to increase production and reduce maintenance costs at its secondary lead smelting plant in Murcia, where it produces over 40,000 tonnes of lead every year.

Inprotec managing director Chris Oldroyd said: “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to build on our strong relationship with Azor Ambiental through a project that will see us design, supply and commission world-class upgrades to their plant, ensuring they are best placed to deliver their vital work to recover and return lead back into the production lifecycle.

“It’s particularly pleasing as it demonstrates, following Brexit, that UK engineering firms can still successfully win business in Europe by having unique expertise and capabilities.”

Manuel Mompeán Buitrago, technical manager at Azor Ambiental, said: “Having worked with Inprotec previously, we recognise their industry-leading capabilities and expertise and we’re very pleased to have them on board once again as we look to take our own capabilities to the next level.”

Established over 40 years ago, Inprotec designs, supplies and commissions thermal processing equipment for a growing portfolio of clients across multiple industries, from secondary and primary metal processing through to hazardous waste treatment. It operates globally to provide cost-effective and timely thermal and metallurgical solutions to some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Glencore, Teck and Johnson Matthey.

Earlier this year, the company completed a seven-figure project to support the creation of the world’s first ‘clean plant’ antimony and gold processing facility in Sohar, Oman.

The facility, known as an antimony roaster, is the largest of its kind outside of China and the world’s first ‘clean plant’, designed and built to EU environmental standards. Created by Strategic & Precious Metals Processing LLC (SPMP), it has the capacity to produce more than 50,000 ounces of gold per annum and 20,000 tonnes of the rare and critical metal, antimony, which is used to fireproof printed circuit boards and other electronics, and often alloyed with other metals such as lead for use in lead-acid batteries.

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