Walvis Bay Salt Holdings Ltd. (“WB Salt”) use a process comprised of a series of solar evaporation ponds including evaporators, concentrators, and crystallizers to extract salt from seawater at Walvis Bay in Namibia. The process of salt extraction using solar evaporation has a residence time of months to years and hence is subject to high level of uncertainty based on climate conditions. In the case of WB Salt, along with the climate, the uncertainties/disturbances associated with the process conditions (brine leakage from ponds, leakage into nearby ponds, accidental flooding of the ponds, etc.) also have a significant impact on the salt yield.

WB Salt liaised with Siemens Process Systems Engineering (“SPSE”) to use mechanistic modelling to quantify the effect of the uncertainties in the environment and operating conditions on the salt field crude salt production capacity. The modelling work was carried out using the solar pond model libraries within SPSE’s digital design and digital operation environment, gPROMS FormulatedProducts. This modelling environment provides users with the necessary tools to configure and calibrate the digital twin of the process and subsequently deploy it for off-line and on-line usage. The following modelling work was carried out to perform a quantitative analysis of WB Salt’s solar pond network:

  • Configuration of the WB Salt solar pond network flowsheet models and fitting them against historical process data obtained by WB Salt.
  • Investigation of the impact of variability in process and climate conditions on the maiden brine and salt field production.

The analysis carried out using the results of this modelling work has helped WB Salt to:

  • Estimate the most likely pond seepage scenario;
  • Establish the balanced salt field Concentrator: Crystalliser area ratio under variable climate conditions; and
  • Improve the accuracy of their salt field crude salt production capacity estimates and therefore the sales forecasts.

What this webinar covers

  • Solar evaporation pond system process challenges and motivation to use modelling as an efficient yet comprehensive approach to investigate the impact of climate and process variability.
  • Workflow of the modelling work that was carried out including model configuration, calibration and deployment.
  • Overview of the benefits derived from the modelling work.
  • Planned approach to optimise operating conditions and minimise sensitivity to climate and process variability.

Who should attend?

Those with an interest in solar evaporation pond systems for brine mining, from non-modellers to expert modellers.


Klaus Frielingsdorf
Klaus Frielingsdorf, WB Salt

Klaus Frielingsdorf is the Operations Director at WB Salt. He earned his B.Sc (BCH CHM) from University of Pretoria and MBA from University of Stellenbosch. Klaus has over 10 years' experience in Solar Salt manufaturing and processing.

Thadeus Kasera
Thadeus Kasera, WB Salt

Thadeus Kasera is an Operations Manager at WB Salt. He has a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry and Molecular Biology as well as a B. Eng. degree in Chemical engineering from University of Stellenbosch. Thadeus has experience in solar manufacturing and processing as well as mineral processing and water treatment.

Amit Goda
Amit Goda, Siemens Process Systems Engineering (SPSE)

Amit Goda is the Strategy Director for Mining at Siemens Process Systems Engineering. He earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Delaware. Amit has over 10 years of industrial experience in the area of process modelling. In the last 5 years, Amit has worked with various brine mining customers in the Lithium, Potash and Table Salt industry in order to help them successfully adopt process modelling for their solar evaporation pond and plant processes and subsequently apply it to achieve their business goals.