Southern Peru Copper Corporation
Ilo, Peru

Ilo Smelter Modernization

Fluor provided engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) services to Southern Peru Copper Corporation (SPCC) for a first-of-its-kind modernization project; considered the largest environmental project ever completed in Peru at the time.

Client's Challenge

SPCC had a requirement to comply with Peruvian government emission regulations and called upon Fluor to complete the project. The regulations called for the smelter to recapture sulfur dioxide of 92 percent (from 33 percent); the mine was expected to maintain production levels of 1.2 million tons of copper concentrate annually.

Fluor's Solution

Fluor provided EPCM services to SPCC to modernize an existing copper smelter operation and provide upgrades at SPCC's Ilo, Peru site. This first-of-its-kind smelter modernization project resulted in the smelter successfully complying with Peruvian government emission regulations. The project provided a positive environmental impact by not only reducing the sulfur dioxide emissions but also by significantly reducing the fuel consumption of the smelter.

The project involved an IsameltTM furnace, new acid plant, new oxygen plant, anode casting wheel, water treatment plant and associated infrastructure. The entire existing Peirce-Smith converters' gas handling, dust handling and gas cleaning systems were upgraded to improve sulfur recovery and improve environmental performance.

The Ilo facility is South America's first copper smelter to use Isamelt technology (by Xstrata), a modern bath-smelting process for the production of non-ferrous metals. Xstrata was contracted to SPCC to engineer the Isamelt furnace and to perform selected engineering needed by Fluor for related equipment. SPCC also owns and operates plants at Cuajone and Toquepala in Peru, which feed copper concentrate to the Ilo smelter.

Fluor executed home office engineering and procurement services from the company's Santiago office. The project was 100 percent construction management with Fluor managing all site construction contracts; 3,500 new jobs were generated, with half of the personnel coming from the Province of Ilo.


Fluor completed the project on schedule and on budget. The project achieved 8.4 million consecutive safe work hours, a record in Peru.

Isamelt is a registered trademark of Xstrata.