As the global leader in temporary power, heating and cooling, Aggreko provides power and temperature control solutions to businesses and communities around the world. We are dedicated to a cleaner future, too, with our battery storage equipment, mobile PV solutions and extensive experience partnering some of the biggest renewable projects in the world helping to make that future a reality.

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Aggreko supporting mining’s ‘net zero’ power ambitions

The mining industry is embarking on its biggest transition to date – moving away from a reliance on diesel for power generation towards renewable and alternative fuel solutions.

The world’s leading mining companies have gone all-in on this; committing to net-zero emission targets by 2050 in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Interim – yet substantial – steps will also be made by 2030 and 2040 by Tier 1 miners.

For companies to achieve their goals, they require an equally ambitious commitment from the supplier side of the industry.

Aggreko, a 60-year-old company with more than 30 years of experience deploying mobile, modular power, temperature control and energy solutions to the mining sector, has made such a commitment.

It has a net-zero emissions goal by 2050, along with a 2030 target to reduce diesel use in its customer solutions by 50%.

And, it is putting action behind these statements, investing upwards of £250 million ($347 million) annually in technology and innovation to retain the mantle of the world’s leading provider of mobile modular power.

“We, too, are committed to a greener future and helping our customers achieve net zero with their energy needs,” the company says. “We are already doing this by adapting and investing in new technology and successfully integrating renewables across our full range of power services.”


A leading role

The company’s investment in – and deployment of – renewable energy is an area Aggreko is leading on.

“Our renewables offerings continue to attract strong uptake from operators interested in reducing energy costs and driving sustainable operations,” the company says. “We have created one of the world’s largest hybridised solar energy microgrids to power a mine in Western Australia and are using the world’s most efficient gas engines to create virtual gas pipelines to power mine projects and reduce miners’ reliance on diesel.”

Renewable microgrids have become a reliable and cost-effective solution where life-of-mine contracts are typically longer and have a baseload power requirement. They have also gained traction in remote mining areas where companies are seeking to take greater control of their power sources.

Solar Power

Aggreko has worked closely with Gold Fields at their Granny Smith mine in Western Australia to successfully transition to a renewable energy system, which at the time included the installation of the biggest off-grid renewable microgrid in the world. Aggreko installed an 8 MW solar farm and a 2 MW battery energy storage system to work alongside the pre-existing 28 MW gas-fired thermal power station. This was all engineered, procured and constructed by Aggreko and is run as independent power to Gold Fields.

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At the same time as this, Aggreko has been expanding the use and access to low-carbon power sources such as liquefied natural gas by offering ‘virtual gas pipelines’ that can reduce emissions as well as lower costs.

A virtual gas pipeline is a substitute for a physical pipeline whereby gas that would typically be conveyed through a conventional gas pipeline is instead transported as liquified natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas to the point of use by sea, road, rail or through a combination of one or more of these transport modes.

“Creating a virtual pipeline application is a way to switch from diesel to a cleaner fuel source and reduce carbon immediately without requiring any capital outlay or a physical gas pipeline,” the company explains.

Virtual Gas Pipeline

In Western Australia, Aggreko has assisted a miner to move away from diesel without capital requirements. We have built a world-class gas plant at Ora Banda Mining’s Davyhurst Gold Mine, which is about 150 km north of Kalgoorlie. The Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) station helps the miner get closer to its net-zero emission targets and uses a virtual pipeline of gas trucked more than 650 km. It is expected to slash the miner’s carbon emissions by 25,000 tonnes in the first five years of operation. The power station is highly efficient, scalable and very suitable for transient loads and for the introduction of solar at a later stage.

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Yet, as power generation for mining has become more complex with fast-changing decarbonisation options, Aggreko has had to be flexible in its approach.

“We have tailored our solutions to simplify and de-risk these decisions for our customers,” the company says. “Using a combination of diesel, gas, solar, battery storage and wind, we’re able to assist miners to reduce carbon emissions while increasing overall energy efficiency.”

Its modular equipment – combined with a build, own and operate model – de-risks the power solutions offered to mining companies, allowing them to scale up power requirements and incorporate different energy supplies into the mix as time and technology allow.

Aggreko says: “In the coming years, careful collaboration is needed between mining and energy companies to create flexible power solutions that transition mines towards cleaner power sources without compromising reliability.”

Hybrid power plants

Our customer Resolute Mining Limited (Resolute) needed to define a lower cost power solution relative to its existing source of power at its Syama Underground Mine in Mali, Africa. The diesel generators in use were no longer the ideal solution. Aggreko used world-leading technology to deliver cost-effective power that ultimately lowered gold production costs. The solution included a 16-year contract to build, operate and maintain a hybrid power plant comprising of Wärtsilä Modular Blocks, solar power as well as batteries. We estimate A$10 million of cost savings in the first full year of operation and the reduced environmental impact will ensure longer term mine sustainability. We also have ongoing incentive to further reduce the cost for Resolute as power technology and innovation evolves.

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The company believes that this type of collaboration will occur, having witnessed a tremendous change in the way mining companies confront technological change.

“Where traditionally the sector was reluctant to adopt new technologies, many mining companies are embracing the energy transformation,” Aggreko says. “In fact, there are some that have become market drivers and are leading the change: they are approaching energy suppliers asking for big, bold and creative ideas for power generation to combat climate change.”

To learn more about Aggreko’s range of power solutions for mine sites and read the whitepaper ‘Mining’s Mission to Net Zero’, follow the link below