Westgold Resources, in line with its ongoing objectives to enhance profitability and focus on cost optimisation, has executed a new Electricity Purchase Agreement with independent power provider Pacific Energy and a new LNG Supply Agreement with Clean Energy Fuels Australia (CEFA).
These agreements will deliver substantial operating cost savings to Westgold in its 2023-2024 financial years onwards of around A$100/oz ($68/oz) at the current diesel price and supports its commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives that will reduce the company’s long term greenhouse gas emissions, it said.
Under the build-own-operate agreement with Pacific Energy, Westgold will materially reduce diesel consumption by replacing six diesel-fired power stations (two owned and operated by Pacific Energy) with four new, highly efficient gas-fired power stations to incorporate renewable energy options and use solar power and battery storage across the Bryah and Murchison Operations. Critically for Westgold, this transition to a mixed generation platform includes renewables and gas and is expected to reduce carbon emissions from diesel-powered generators by over 57%, due to the higher integration of renewables (34% solar) and cleaner fuel (gas versus diesel), the company said.
Westgold’s first new Pacific Energy power station will be commissioned in July 2023 at the Tuckabianna processing hub, with the three additional new power plants scheduled for commissioning from September 2023.
Westgold has concurrently signed a bulk LNG supply agreement with CEFA. CEFA will supply Westgold from its expanded LNG plant located at Mt Magnet (pictured), 80 km south of Cue. This plant is currently providing LNG to another Pacific Energy power plant in the Murchison region and provides a substantial advantage due to its proximity to Westgold’s operations. CEFA will fund and construct satellite LNG facilities (primarily comprising LNG storage and re-gasification equipment) at Westgold’s project sites, with the LNG trucked direct from its plant at Mt Magnet.
The new gas and solar power station to be commissioned at Westgold’s Meekatharra operations will also serve to simplify power generation by removing smaller diesel fired power stations at the Paddy’s Flat and Bluebird underground mines and providing them power from a larger gas-fired power station via overhead powerlines, according to the company.
Westgold Managing Director, Wayne Bramwell, said: “The transition to a cleaner, more efficient energy platform that utilises renewables and gas in financial year 2023 is strategic for Westgold. It is an important step in meeting our ESG targets but is pivotal to reducing the operating cost of our business.
“Westgold has selected two industry leaders in Pacific Energy and CEFA to work with us in this transition and we look forward to seeing the benefits that integrating renewable power and cleaner energy alternatives can deliver to our business and the communities within which we work.”