Tag Archives: Aggreko

Ora Banda benefits from Aggreko virtual LNG pipeline at Davyhurst gold mine

In what is a world-first for global energy provider Aggreko, the company has introduced its latest high efficiency gas engines at Ora Banda Mining’s Davyhurst gold mine in Western Australia.

The power station, which uses a virtual pipeline of gas trucked over 650 km, is expected to slash the mine’s carbon emissions by 25,000 t during the next five years, Aggreko says.

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.

Aggreko Australia Pacific Managing Director, George Whyte, said the LNG station project at Davyhurst was another step in the company’s mission to help miners’ get closer to their net zero emission targets.

“The Davyhurst gas power station is a great example of how a mine which previously operated on diesel wanted to operate on cleaner fuel and we were able to switch from diesel to gas,” Whyte said.

“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 result at Davyhurst is a gas power station comprising five LNG-generating sets and two diesel generating sets for a combined modular power output of 8.2 MW. Aggreko’s gas-fired power station will enable Ora Banda Mining to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 25,000 t during the initial five years of operation.”

He added: “This project demonstrates great innovation, uses a virtual gas pipeline and is a world-first for us using the high-speed reciprocating gas engines in our power generators. The power station is highly efficient, scalable and very suitable for transient loads and for the introduction of solar at a later stage.”

Whyte said Aggreko’s contract to supply the mine with power saved the junior miner on large capital expenditure and allowed miners to focus on their core skill of mining.

“Of appeal to miners is being able to take on flexible contracts with no capital outlay,” he said. “In addition, Aggreko upscales the technology, and the level of power is scalable so it can evolve with the mine.

“At Aggreko, we will reduce the amount of fossil diesel fuel used in customer solutions by at least 50% by 2030 and become a net-zero business across all services we provide by 2050. We are continuing to innovate and work with miners to reduce carbon by providing them with cleaner, scalable and modular energy as they work toward their net-zero targets.”

Ora Branda Mining Managing Director, David Quinlivan, said mining operations started on its large land holding in Western Australia in 2019 and reprocessing started again in January 2021.

“As part of the capital works program, we needed to re-establish a power station at Davyhurst and we worked with Aggreko and EVOL LNG to build a natural gas-powered station to power all of the site,” Quinlivan said.

“Initially, power was supplied to the site via an overhead line from Kalgoorlie. It is now trucked 650 km to site where it is used to power the gas generators. The power station developed for the site now supplies power to the processing plant, to the administration complex, our exploration and core processing facilities, the main mine accommodation plant, and out to the underground mining offices. It also powers our primary communications facilities.

“Working with Aggreko has resulted in a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for our company.”

Aggreko ups the mine cooling ante with modular BAC10000s

Twenty years after establishing modular mine cooling solutions in Australia, Aggreko has released an offering for mines going deeper with its latest modular bulk air coolers (BACs).

These 40 ft (12.19 m) mobile BAC10000s coolers are “unique” and relatively new to the mine cooling market, according to Aggreko Australia-Pacific Managing Director, George Whyte.

“They are scalable, portable and boast three times the cooling capacity of our previous largest offering – the 20 ft long (about 6.09 m) containers,” he said.

Aggreko has delivered more than 50 mine cooling projects globally, and always draws on the experience of its engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance teams to stay at the forefront of technology, according to Whyte.

“Aggreko’s mining services pioneered mine cooling as a rental service 20 years ago as a result of mines looking for alternatives to capital refrigeration plants,” he said. “Previously mining companies would need to use capital to install built-in cooling systems which were not scalable, modular or as effective.

“In the past two decades we have witnessed mines becoming deeper and this has resulted in the need for larger cooling capacities and innovation. The need for deeper mines in increasingly remote locations, coupled with rising global temperatures, is forcing operation managers to seek affordable alternatives to cooling and ventilation systems.”

Aggreko Underground Cooling Sector Manager, Mitch Bevan, said the BAC10000s were used at a Western Australia mine last year and will soon arrive at a mine in New South Wales, Australia.

Bevan said part of the new modular BACs appeal were their simplicity and convenience when compared with purpose-built on-site cooling plants. The new BACs used a simple design involving pipes, chilled water and three axial fans – all comprised in a modular shipping container. He expected more mines globally would become interested in the company’s new product offering, particularly in regions such as Africa, Latin America and North America.

“The unit is more suited for larger installations and offers improved efficiency rather than using a large number of smaller BACs,” Bevan said.

“Capital refrigeration plants take a long time for mines to prepare for financially, as well as to install, whereas we can mobilise on relatively short notice. A rental option also provides a great deal of flexibility, which is often crucial for underground vent systems where it is difficult to predict the requirement year on year.”

Bevan said Aggreko re-engineered their cooling towers to come up with the 40 ft modular BAC10000s after anticipating there would be global demand for such an offering.

“Long running mines have continued to grow and their refrigeration requirement grows with the mine, so BACs are appealing as they can be scaled up or easily moved on-site,” he said.

“While mines are expanding, our clients are also focused on energy efficiency, and safer operation – such as more environmentally friendly refrigerants – and we are constantly working on new developments in these areas.

“The water-cooled BACs have less of an environmental impact seeing as the modular container sits on the ground’s surface and requires no serious ground modifications, such as concrete.

“The units only require water and power and, while some mines use diesel-generated power, as time goes on, that will shift to renewable energy. Our company has made major commitments to greener energy to help miners achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. That is why we are constantly exploring and investing in new technologies. Currently, our water-cooled chillers use half as much power as air-cooled options, which is part of their appeal, and we are the only rental company to provide such modular and scalable products.”

The BAC10000s have been successfully used at 29Metals’ Golden Grove mine – a high grade copper, zinc and precious metals mine, about 450 km northeast of Perth, which mills about 1.44 Mt/y.

When the mine underwent an expansion, which required almost two years to up-scale its permanent cooling plant, a quick and effective solution was needed in time for the 2020-21 summer, according to Aggreko. The power specialist was able to quickly supply the BAC10000s to install a 4.5 MWr water-cooled plant.

As well as water cooled refrigeration plants such as Aggreko’s 20 ft and 40 ft BACs, Aggreko also offers air cooled refrigeration plants (with power provided, if required) and underground spot cooling solutions.

“Newer mines are also continuing to come online in Australia and around the world,” Bevan said. “We are supplying modular cooling solutions throughout the entire mining lifecycle.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to improve on our strengths to assist our clients further into the future. We provide flexible energy solutions and services to the mining sector and provide high standards regardless of a mine’s location in the world.”

UMS to start pre-sinking work at Lucara’s Karowe Underground Expansion project

Lucara Diamond Corp’s Karowe Underground Expansion project (UGP) in Botswana is moving ahead with mobilisation of shaft sinking teams commencing late in June, and pre-sinking activities scheduled in the September quarter.

The Karowe UGP, which is expected to extend the operation’s mine life to 2040, is in a fully-financed position, with the latest schedule expected to see underground production hit full production by the end of 2026.

The 2019 feasibility study for the project envisaged life of mine production of 7.8 Mct, a payback period of 2.8 years and an after-tax NPV (5% discount) of $718 million; all from $514 million in pre-production capital.

COVID-19 delays have pushed the project off the original schedule – both in terms of timeline and cost – but the company says it is now making headway towards a 2026 start to underground production.

Lucara said no “material variances” between the 2019 feasibility study and the current execution plan have resulted, despite the delays.

“Rather, during this period in 2020 and 2021, all critical path items were addressed and a concerted effort was placed on detailed design, engineering and procurement which have helped to significantly de-risk the project,” it said.

Out of the total capital budget, the company has spent $51.4 million on project execution activities through 2020 until the end of June 2021, including shaft and geotechnical engineering, procurement of long lead time and essential shaft sinking items, surface infrastructure and construction activities, bulk power supply power line engineering and procurement.

Mobilisation of the shaft pre-sink team has commenced with shaft pre-sinking on track to commence in the middle of the current quarter.

Detailed engineering and design of the underground infrastructure and layouts will commence this quarter and are expected to be competed in the September quarter of 2022, with no major changes from the 2019 study plan anticipated.

Underground mine development is scheduled to commence in the second half of 2024 with underground production ramp up starting in 2026. Full production is scheduled for the end of 2026.

At the same time, open-pit mining operations have been adjusted to limit the risk of production shortfalls during the ramp up of the underground mine operations commencing in the first half of 2026. The open-pit mine is expected to terminate in mid-2026, Lucara said.

Access to the underground mine will be via two vertical shafts, the production and ventilation shafts. The shafts will be concrete lined with the production shaft acting as the main air intake and the ventilation shaft as the exhaust.

The number of shaft stations and nominal elevations remain the same as the feasibility study, with the planned depth of the production shaft still at around 767 m. The final planned depth of the ventilation shaft has, however, increased marginally to 733 m, from 716 m.

A 7,200 t/d shaft operation using long hole shrinkage (LHS) mining will provide an additional 13 years of mine life to the Karowe operation after a five-year construction period. The 767-m-deep production shaft will be equipped with two 21 t skips for production hoisting and a service cage for man and material movement through the mine. This shaft will also serve as the main fresh air intake to the mine.

The pre-sink construction contract and shaft sinking equipment procurement were awarded to UMS Botswana and UMS South Africa, respectively. METS International Ltd, a subsidiary of UMS, was awarded the shaft engineering contract.

The company explained: “Detailed design and engineering work on the production and ventilation shafts is now 90% complete, and has resulted in the following changes to the 2019 feasibility study: i) production shaft diameter has increased from 8 m to 8.5 m, ii) ventilation shaft permanent headframe, hoists and internal conveyances have been removed, iii) parallel pre-sinking of both shafts, iv) ventilation fans and coolers to be located on surface, v) in-shaft grouting of water strikes changed from grout curtain installation from surface, vi) planned development of an additional sublevel to assist in drilling of drawbells, and vii) removal of 670L de-watering galleries.”

Increased schedule time related to shaft sinking has been a result of the increased production shaft diameter, time allowances for in-shaft grouting during sinking operations planned at known water strike horizons, holing through all shaft stations between shafts and additional ground support for underground stations/level breakouts, the company said.

UMS is in the process of mobilising crews to Karowe to initiate pre-sink works. Pre-sinking of the two shafts will run in parallel and start with mobile cranes and then transition to Scott Derrick cranes with the final depth of pre-sink at around 40 m below surface.

With the exception of an additional sublevel (340L) to assist with drill and blast of drawbells, the design, layout and infrastructure of the underground mine all remain aligned with the 2019 feasibility study, the company noted.

Temporary power for shaft sinking is required until such time as the upgrade bulk power supply infrastructure is commissioned in the December quarter of 2022. A three-phased ramp up of the generator capacity is planned to support the increasing power requirements related to the shaft sinking activities.

A power supply and services contract for the temporary generators has been signed with Aggreko International Projects Ltd. Mobilisation has been initiated with the generator pad established. Commissioning of Phase 1 is scheduled during the September quarter to support the start of pre-sink activities.

The Karowe UGP is targeting the substantial resources remaining below the economic extents of the open pit in the South Lobe.

The LHS method is planned to systematically drill and blast the entire lobe on a vertical retreat basis. In LHS, a significant proportion of the blasted muck is left in the stope during blasting and stoping to stabilise the host rock with only the swell extracted during the drill and blast phase. Mucking will take place from draw points from the 310L extraction level. Once the column is fully blasted, the stope will be drawn empty by mucking the draw points.

The bottom-up approach of the LHS mining method takes advantage of the higher value EM/PK(S) kimberlite unit at depth in the South Lobe at Karowe, and balances high initial capital costs with low operating costs while de-risking the project with respect to the geotechnical and hydrogeological aspects of the host rocks, according to Lucara.

A revised project cost and schedule has been developed that captures the detailed engineering and design work through 2020 until May 2021, incorporating all changes, improvements, and COVID-19 related delays. Overall capital expenditures, including contingency, have increased marginally by some 4%, to $534 million, driven by the increase to the production shaft diameter and additional mine development.

The schedule to 75% of full production has increased by 1.3 years, driven mainly by COVID-19-related delays to commence the shaft pre-sinking and additional planned time for shaft station break-outs and ground support, Lucara added.

During 2020, Lucara negotiated and signed a self-build agreement with the Botswana Power Corp (BPC) for the construction of two substations and a 29-km-long 132 kV transmission line from BPC’s newly established Letlhakane substation to the Karowe mine. The planned route follows an existing regional 400 kV line and then runs parallel to the existing 11 kV transmission line currently supplying bulk power to the Karowe mine.

The new power infrastructure will provide the required power for the current open pit, processing plant and the underground mine expansion. Commissioning of and handover to BPC is scheduled for the December quarter of 2022. Construction of substations is scheduled to commence this quarter and power line construction in the March quarter of 2022, the company said.

JDS Energy & Mining Inc is the engineering procurement and construction manager for the execution of the Karowe UGP and is currently building up the on-site project team in conjunction with Lucara’s owners team and working in close cooperation with the Karowe Diamond Mine operations team.

Aggreko trialling mobile, containerised solar PV solutions in mining

Aggreko says it is ready to apply big, bold ideas to supply renewable energy to miners, with one such idea being the use of state-of-the-art mobile and containerised photovoltaic (PV) solutions.

Rod Saffy, the Global Head of Mining at Aggreko, said miners were constantly looking for innovative power solutions to help companies achieve their emission targets.

“Where there once may have been a reluctance to embrace new technology, miners are now needing it – asking us for bold ideas,” he said. “As a result, most of our new technology is finding its way into the mining space before it is finding its way into other sectors.”

Lars Stephan, who heads strategy and markets at Aggreko’s renewable division, echoed Saffy’s comments, suggesting the next few years alone would result in a massive transformation of the mining sector as miners incorporated renewables to their energy mix.

“Our hybrid projects, such as the Granny Smith project, are quite ahead of the curve and undoubtedly will be transported to the rest of the mining industry and to the rest of the world as well,” Stephan said.

Aggreko says it has multiple teams dedicated specifically to bringing new and innovative technology to customers, with the terms innovation and technology being at the heart of its values and strategic direction, he added.

“New technology our teams are currently looking at across different sectors include green hydrogen, modular wind solution and re-deployable solar solutions,” he said. “We are certainly scanning to see what will become relevant to our customers.”

In mining specifically, Nicolas Boruchowicz, Head of Renewables and Energy Storage solutions, said Aggreko was now trialling state-of-the-art mobile and containerised PV solutions, after securing four major solar contracts to power mines throughout their lifecycle.

“While bringing the benefits of solar integration, those units will be highly mobile, and provide flexible solar power to mines and rural communities for a shorter contract duration of below five years or even months,” he said. “This innovation has the potential to open the door to more renewable power for the mining industry and in locations that previously seemed out of scope.”

Aggreko is one of the only power companies of its kind to align itself with the big miners, committed to reduce its carbon emissions and its use of diesel with customers by 50% by 2030 and achieving net-zero across its fleet by 2050.

When asked if he had one piece of advice for the mining sector today, Saffy said: “Whatever you do, don’t make a long-term investment in an energy source. In today’s fast evolving energy landscape, long-term commitments may lead to stranded assets and tied up capital, especially with the constant innovation in energy technology.

“We offer a risk free, 100% reliable solution, addressing your immediate requirements and staying flexible with the energy source as it evolves into the future. We don’t know right now what technologies will help get us to net zero by 2050 but we will continue to search the market for innovation and work with our mining customers to get there.”

Private equity firms look to take over Aggreko

The boards of directors of Aggreko plc and Albion Acquisitions Ltd have reached agreement on the terms and conditions of a recommended all-cash acquisition from I Squared Capital and TDR Capital for the mobile power provider.

The £8.80/share offer values Aggreko at £2.32 billion ($3.2 billion).

Earlier this week, Aggreko announced an underlying profit before tax of £102 million for 2020, slightly ahead of its initial guidance of £80-100 million, and group revenue of £693 million for 2020, down from £823 million in 2019. The company stated that 7% of this revenue came from the mining sector.

Aggreko said its directors intended to recommend unanimously that Aggreko shareholders vote in favour of the proposed scheme at a court meeting and general meeting. The acquisition is expected to become effective in summer of 2021 (in the Northern Hemisphere).

Ken Hanna, the Chairman of Aggreko, said: “The Aggreko Board believes that the offer from I Squared Capital and TDR Capital represents an attractive price in cash that fairly recognises Aggreko’s future prospects. We believe that the business, its people and customers will continue to be well supported with I Squared Capital and TDR Capital as shareholders bringing their expertise in energy and rental markets to support our existing strategy.”

Adil Rahmathulla of I Squared Capital added: “Aggreko is a global market leader in delivering bespoke temporary power solutions to its customers and has clearly shown it has a strategy to complete its journey towards a net-zero emission business. The urgency to deliver on that transition has only increased in the post-COVID environment.

“Repositioning Aggreko fast enough to truly capitalise on these trends and rapidly shifting customer demand requires significant investment in clean technology and a step change in the pace of transformation. We are well positioned to accelerate Aggreko’s development at this critical juncture and secure a successful future for the company, underpinned by a long-term investment focus and the combined expertise of TDR Capital and I Squared Capital in the power infrastructure and equipment rental sectors.”

Aggreko to energise mine power space with investment proposition

Mobile power provider Aggreko says it is making the transition from being a pure power provider to a long-term mining project investor that is helping miners navigate the energy transition.

Aggreko has built an almost 60-year-long reputation for powering many sectors around the globe. It has also supplied power and underground cooling to the mining sector for more than 35 years and has evolved into life-of-mine contracts and renewables.

In its latest report – which details its future energy transition – Aggreko cites mining as a major growth sector. Aggreko Australia Pacific Managing Director, George Whyte, stated that Aggreko’s global team’s unique offering is with build-own-operate investments across all continents.

As well as continuing to invest upward of £250 million ($347 million) annually in technology and innovation, the company says it is ready to further boost its investments in the natural resources industry.

Whyte said: “Investor partnerships can support the rapid changes in technology and emissions compliance that our mining customers are facing. Investing millions of dollars in capital for a mine’s power plant is a risk for any company, and, as a partner, Aggreko takes on this risk instead of the mining company. It is a smart way for miners to do business in the post-COVID and renewables era.”

Aggreko’s Global Head of Mining, Rod Saffy, said miners struggling to get funding for capital expenditure projects were looking to outsource, and there was a trend toward creating partnerships with providers.

“Partnerships provide more value beyond de-risking project finances,” Saffy said. “There are technology and emissions risks, so by partnering with us, for example, we aren’t just supplying equipment and labour, we share in decision making and project milestones, we invest and update technology on-site and navigate social and environmental impacts together.”
Saffy said companies looking to build power stations for the first time particularly benefited from supportive partnerships with Aggreko.

“Power stations are our core business, and they have become much more complex on mine sites than they have been in the past,” he said. “It is challenging to get funding to build power stations, and miners are needing support to integrate renewables into their plans immediately or in the future, or needing solutions designed from scratch.

“Partnering with us is a sustainable and beneficial business solution. Miners are wanting hybrid power stations that might utilise a mix of energy sources such as diesel, gas, solar or battery, for example. They also want that power to be scaled up or down and upgraded as their needs change and new technology comes online.”

Saffy said mines throughout the world were becoming less dependent on mass-scale thermal plants to deliver baseload power through national grids.

“With the cost of renewable power generation falling, there is also growth in localised microgrids, which means less dependence or complete independence from the grid,” he said. “Miners in Australia, Africa and South America, where there is less infrastructure in remote locations, are finding it particularly helpful to partner with us from the start of a major project.”

One such example is the Gold Fields Salares Norte Mine in northern Chile where Aggreko has become a major investor, and partner for the mining project for at least 10 years. The mine is located 190 km from the nearest town and is 4,500 m above sea level, and Aggreko is creating an off-grid hybrid power solution, comprising of diesel and solar for the harsh environmental conditions. Aggreko estimates the mine will experience $7.4 million in cost energy savings across the 10 years.

Saffy said the benefits for Aggreko in partnering and investing with miners from the beginning of their project to the end of the life of mine was beneficial for both parties.

“As a partner, Aggreko de-risks the threat of future innovation and technology for miners,” he said. “Our build, own, operate and maintain model frees up working capital without increasing the debt ratio for mining projects. Modular equipment also gives miners the ability to leverage innovation at low risk and not be concerned about having the latest equipment.

“We benefit too, by showcasing our expertise and innovations throughout a project’s lifecycle and support mining companies to reduce emissions and increase their operational efficiencies.”

Late last year, Aggreko committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Aggreko commits to ‘net zero’ targets, supporting customers through energy transition

Aggreko has announced its ambition to be “net zero” by 2050 or sooner, aligning with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

The company, which has delivered many off-grid power solutions to the mining sector, a number of which have renewable energy inputs, has also committed to offering cleaner technologies and fuels to support its customers through their energy transition – using flexible and competitive energy solutions to meet their environmental sustainability targets.

By 2030, Aggreko says it will:

  • Reduce the amount of fossil diesel fuel used in customer solutions by at least 50% by offering customers cleaner technologies and fuels that guarantee the same or better level of reliability and competitiveness;
  • Reduce local air quality emissions of their solutions also by 50% (all emissions from diesel, gas and other fuels); and
  • Achieve net zero across all its own business operations.

By 2050 or sooner, it says it will also be a “net zero” business across all the services it provides.

The company explained: “For a number of years, Aggreko has been making progress in providing cleaner solutions for customers around the world, such as turning waste gas into power or by incorporating battery storage, solar, and more efficient and near zero local emissions generators. Aggreko is pioneering by partnering with many leading organisations across industry sectors that aim to be net zero or close to net zero within the next decade, supporting them in navigating the complexity and the cost challenges they face in achieving their own commitments.”

To achieve its 2030 and 2050 ambitions, Aggreko plans to accelerate investment in lower-carbon technologies and will continue to shift its global generator fleet towards more gas and greener drop-in liquid fuels. It will also invest in other clean energy alternatives such as e-fuels, hydrogen-ready engines and fuel cells, in preparation for rapid exploitation as the technology becomes available at scale, while also closely monitoring and investigating future technologies, the company said.

Aggreko is to accelerate its offering of more efficient solutions notably through temperature control, energy recovery, co- or tri-generation, it said. Simultaneously, it will continue to grow its portfolio of mobile and modular solar power and battery storage assets, which, when combined with its generator fleet, helps customers to successfully reduce their carbon emissions and costs.

“Aggreko will continue to enhance the use of connected systems, remote monitoring and data analytics to increase efficiency and track performance against its own and its customers’ emissions reduction targets,” the company said.

Chris Weston, CEO of Aggreko, said: “The energy transition is fundamentally changing the way power is generated and delivered. Our customers’ needs are evolving – they require cleaner solutions but without compromising reliability, modularity or cost efficiency. We’ve already begun transforming our fleet and solutions to meet changing customer needs and to achieve our objective to become a net zero company.”

He added: “Our customers are looking to reduce their carbon and air quality emissions and we are the perfect partner to support them in their journey. With our expertise in hybrid solutions and efficient thermal generation, we are already supporting them across the world through the energy transition.”

He concluded: “Our industry-leading net zero commitments are ambitious but achievable and put us on the path to reduce both our own environmental footprint and that of our customers as we look ahead to a greener future.”

Aggreko to energise Gold Fields’ Salares Norte mine with hybrid power solution

Aggreko, a leading provider of mobile and modular power solutions, has signed a contract with Gold Fields to provide a 25.9 MW hybrid solar and thermal power solution to the Salares Norte open-pit mine in Chile.

This “ground-breaking solution” has been designed to provide power for the entire mine, which sits at an altitude of 4,500 m in the Andes mountain range and is 190 km from the nearest town, Aggreko says.

The hybrid system will comprise both tailormade high-altitude performance diesel gensets and Aggreko Solar Power units, optimised for off-grid applications and ready to meet the extreme wind conditions these units will experience.

The gensets will each deliver 772 kW (for 16 MW of power in total) and will incorporate spinning reserve and cold reserve units to efficiently manage peaks in demand, the company says. This diesel generation system will be integrated with solar units, which, once installed, will provide 9.9 MW of emission-free power.

“The system will deliver a reliable, modular power supply across all five of the mine’s distribution points, whilst surpassing the Chilean government’s environmental standards as well as Gold Fields’ requirement for a minimum of 20% renewable power generation for mining operations,” Aggreko said.

Once complete, it will achieve $7.4 million in cost of energy savings over the next decade and a further $1.1 million in carbon tax offset over the Aggreko project lifetime in addition to 104,000 t of carbon emissions savings, Aggreko estimates.

“The modular rental solution also supports a consolidated capital expenditure outlay, allowing for greater cost control and variable commitments whilst ensuring continued operational excellence at the mine,” it added.

The deployment of this hybrid solution follows Aggreko’s recent launch of Aggreko Solar Power, which will be deployed to provide power at the site. This solution is designed for weak or off-grid energy applications, providing clean and efficient power supply to a range of operations without long-term financial commitments.

Pablo Varela, Latin America Managing Director from Aggreko, said: “As the energy transition continues to gather pace, our customers are increasingly looking for more flexible power solutions which can reliably support operations whilst reducing carbon emissions and lowering costs.

“Hybrid products, such as the one we are deploying for Salares Norte, enable a reliable and flexible power supply whilst reducing carbon emissions, thanks to the incorporation of Aggreko Solar Power units as part of the system. Having a standardised product such as this provides the kind of consistency and reliability which our customers have come to expect from us.”

The 10-year contract between Aggreko and Gold Fields for power generation at the mine represents the strong working relationship between the companies, reinforced with the recent installation of one of the world’s largest renewable microgrids at Gold Fields’ Granny Smith mine in Western Australia.

First production from the mine is set for early 2023, with Salares Norte having an 11.5-year life of mine with a production average of 450,000 oz/y for the first seven years of operations.

Aggreko to help power up Colluli potash project

Aggreko has been appointed as the preferred power supply contractor for the 12 MW heavy fuel oil (HFO) power plant at the Colluli potash project in Eritrea, Danakali has reported.

The power company will provide a full scope of support services for the supply, commissioning, and maintenance of the power plant, then transfer to the jointly-owned Colluli Mining Share Company (CMSC), under a five-year buy-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) contract. Aggreko will also provide the funding for the power solution, which provides certainty over delivery of this preferred solution, Danakali said.

The choice of the BOOT agreement is due to the equipment being available now and not needing to be built, Danakali, a 50:50 owner of CMSC along with the Eritrea government, said. This will also de-risk the development schedule, it added.

The costs of the power solution provided by Aggreko over the five-year contract period is lower than the front-end engineering design study results, according to Danakali.

Aggreko is funding the capital expenditure required for the power plant and all equipment will be transferred to CMSC at no extra cost at the end of the contract period, Danakali explained. This power solution is scalable and can increase/decrease according to CMSC’s needs, it added.

The agreement between Aggreko and CMSC is subject to the conclusion of ongoing negotiations to optimise the scope of works, contract pricing and execution; and board approval of the final investment decision for Colluli.

In July, the Eritrean Ministry of Energy & Mines paved the way for construction to start at the project after accepting the Colluli Notice of Commencement of Mine Development.

Niels Wage, CEO of Danakali, said: “We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Aggreko as our single power provider. With 55 years of experience in delivering high-quality, reliable service to a large number of projects, we are confident they have the capabilities to provide our power needs for Colluli.

“At the early stages of the project development, the HFO solution will provide us with flexibility and reliability, and as confirmed by social and environmental impact assessment, Colluli will have a relatively small impact on the environment. Going forward, once project development is in more of a steady state, we will look to diversify our energy sources towards renewables available in the Danakil region, as per our commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions.”

John Lewis, Managing Director, Africa – Aggreko, added: “Our extensive experience in Eritrea and knowledge of the local market means that we are ideally placed to provide a solution which meets the specific needs of Danakali and deliver a reliable power supply for this project.”

Colluli has a JORC-2012 compliant measured, indicated and inferred resource of 1,289 Mt at 11% K20 equivalent and 7% kieserite.

Aggreko stabilises power supply for Kinross at Tasiast gold mine

Aggreko has helped Kinross Gold shore up its power supply at the Tasiast gold mine in Mauritania, providing a turnkey heavy fuel oil (HFO) solution that has given the company time to review its longer-term energy needs.

The Tasiast mine is one of the largest open-pit gold mines in Africa, located in the remote north western region of Inchiri in Mauritiana.

As an off-grid mine it needed to have its own power supply and was being powered by a 25 MW HFO Wartsila power plant, with an additional 10 MW of diesel, both of which Kinross own, Aggreko said.

“The diesel technology was ageing, very inefficient and prone to regular breakdowns, which was incurring Kinross huge maintenance costs,” Aggreko explained.

Furthermore, the company had recently completed phase one of an expansion of the mine. This included the installation of a new SAG mill to increase the rock crushing capacity by 50% – from 8,000 t/d to 12,000 t/d – however, the power generation capacity had not been upgraded. This meant the redundancy available on site was significantly decreased once the mine expanded and heightened the risk of power failures.

The life of mine was expected to be at least another decade away in 2029 too, and, with the diesel price volatility impacting operations, Kinross needed to think about power for the mine over the longer term, as well as what it could do to alleviate the cost implications it was suffering, short term, Aggreko said.

It engaged Aggreko to explore the options.

To address the immediate issues, Aggreko offered a solution that was easy to integrate into the team’s current power mix, it said.

“Replacing the existing diesel plant with 13 MW of Aggreko’s HFO power meant we could reduce their reliance on diesel, and they could keep the old diesel sets as additional redundancy for emergencies,” the company said.

“We synchronised with their existing Wartsila HFO plant and integrated the systems smoothly with no interruptions to their operations – ultimately safeguarding production.”

With Aggreko providing a turnkey solution, the company didn’t need to worry about operating or maintaining this new plant, it said.

Delivering the plant on time was also crucial for Kinross, Aggreko said.

With eight months of planning, the contract was signed in June 2019. This requested Aggreko to deliver and commission the plant by the last day in November of the same year.

“Putting our deep experience of operating in Africa to use, specifically our knowledge of local importation and logistics challenges, we delivered the project not only on time, but also on budget,” Aggreko said.

Aggreko concluded: “Kinross have reliable, guaranteed power 24/7 to ensure their gold production is unaffected by power issues or further shutdowns, and it’s given them the breathing space and time to review longer-term power options for the remaining life of the mine.

“The solution we put in place to use HFO also made the fuel management easier using one fuel across both their existing Wartsila plant and the new plant, which was also more cost effective.”

Tasiast produced 391,097 ounces of gold equivalent in 2019, according to Kinross. For the second consecutive quarter, the mine achieved record quarterly production and a record average throughput rate of 16,100 t/d in the March quarter, as the mine continued to benefit from the phase one expansion.

The company is also in the middle of a phase stage expansion at the operation, which could see throughput capacity increase to 24,000 t/d by mid-2023.