APA Group has been contracted to expand the power generation capability of the Gruyere gold project, in Western Australia, as part of a contract that will include the addition of a renewable energy hybrid microgrid, solar power and battery energy storage system.
This news came within Gold Road Resources Limited’s and Gruyere Mining Company’s report on power expansion initiatives at Gruyere, a 50:50 joint venture between Gold Road and Gold Fields, around 200 km east of Laverton.
APA has been contracted to install an additional 4 MW reciprocating gas-fired engine by mid-2021 (Phase 1) and build, own and operate a 13 MWp solar farm and 4.4 MW battery-energy storage system by the end of 2021 (Phase 2) under the existing Electricity Supply Agreement (ESA) that runs until November 2033.
The cost of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 expansion will be amortised over the term of the ESA and is forecast at A$32-38 million ($24-28 million). Phase 1 and Phase 2 will increase the installed power capacity at Gruyere to 64 MW.
The benefits of the sustainable power expansion at Gruyere include:
- Reduction of carbon emissions by an estimated 16,000 t/y CO2-e;
- Anticipated 5% power supply unit cost saving (MWh), at current gas market prices;
- Ameliorating gas power generation capacity constraints, including the derating of gas engine performance at high ambient temperatures;
- Enable increased plant throughput up to the target of 10 Mt/y;
Gold Road Managing Director and CEO, Duncan Gibbs, said: “Gold Road is proud to be part of this green energy initiative. We have long stated our intention to be an ESG leader, and this initiative follows on from the recent commissioning of a solar and battery power solution at our Yamarna exploration facility.
“The power expansion at Gruyere provides an elegant technical solution that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, decreases costs and enables an increase in plant capacity up to a targeted 10 Mt/y from the current nameplate design of 8.2 Mt/y. This will not only see increased annual cash flow generation for the business, but it will help drive additional unit cost reductions as Gruyere is further defined as a Tier One, low cost and long-life gold producer.”
Gold Fields Executive Vice President, Stuart Mathews, said: “The installation of renewables as part of our total power solution at Gruyere reflects Gold Fields’ strategic objective to strengthen energy security, optimise energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint through the adoption of innovative new technologies. The success of the recently completed renewable energy projects at our Agnew and Granny Smith mines has given Gold Fields the confidence to ramp up use of these technologies across our global operations.”