Review: Metallurgical Plant Design

For individuals involved in the challenging work of capital project development in the metallurgy field, and indeed in many “steel and concrete” projects, this book provides an excellent introduction into project engineering and associated practices, eg design, project management and procurement.  Indeed, it can serve as a handbook for practicing professionals. It is comprehensive, clearly written, defines important terms and concepts,  provides a number of case studies, and outlines the FEL stages in accessible language. Each chapter deals with a specific subject and can be read independently of the other chapters providing advantages to those who monitor progress through periodic review meetings, reports, etc. In keeping with its intent, the book retains its focus on engineering activities and deliverables while refraining from directly addressing gritty business issues which have frequently derailed capital projects  – for example, loss of project “champions,” financial dislocations, inability to make decisions during FEL stages. Additionally, as the discussions and descriptions are by design comprehensive, they do not necessarily direct the reader’s attention to the important few issues. Still, the distinguished authors have given us an understandable, substantive work which summarizes the project design process as practiced today. They should consider producing an abridged version aimed at corporate management, a volume which would concentrate on critical items, delve more deeply into failures and tap into their years of experience to offer recipes for success.

Sam Marcuson
Principal at Marcuson and Associates