Tag Archives: Dynamic Gas Blending

Cat energy storage, microgrid and Dynamic Gas Blending solutions on show at MINExpo

At MINExpo 2021 next week, Caterpillar Inc is highlighting the company’s wide range of industry expertise combined with power solutions that, it says, deliver the reliability, efficiency and sustainability for boosting the performance of mining operations.

MINExpo 2021 is set to run from September 13-15 in Las Vegas, USA.

These power solutions range from Cat® Energy Storage, Cat Hybrid Microgrid Systems and fuel-flexible Dynamic Gas Blending (DGB) solutions, which are all included in the company’s portfolio of renewable power solutions. The wide variety of these solutions supports customers’ sustainability goals and can be configured to minimise their greenhouse gas footprints while also reducing total cost of ownership, according to Cat.

Jason Kaiser, Vice President, Caterpillar Electric Power Division, said: “Power needs vary widely from mine site to mine site, and they are becoming increasingly complex as mining companies address the sustainability requirements of their environmental, social and corporate governance initiatives. With our decades of experience in the mining industry and full portfolio of technologies – including numerous solutions that readily incorporate renewable energy sources – Caterpillar can supply integrated power solutions designed, installed, and supported from a single source to ensure superior performance over the long haul.”

Caterpillar says it offers a complete technology suite of hybrid energy solutions designed to reduce fuel expenses, lower utility bills, decrease emissions and reduce the total cost of ownership while increasing energy resiliency in even the most challenging environments. Key components include Cat Photovoltaic Solar Modules, the Cat Master Microgrid Controller, Cat Connect Remote Asset Monitoring, Cat Bi-Directional Power inverters, Cat Energy Storage System modules and Cat generator sets.

Cat to bring new D11 XE dozer, R1700 XE battery-electric LHD to MINExpo

Caterpillar is set to unveil the world’s largest, most powerful and efficient electric drive dozer with high drive at the upcoming MINExpo 2021 event in Las Vegas, USA, in September, in an exhibit themed around the concept, “together, we’re mining better”.

Caterpillar’s MINExpo 2021 experience, the company says, celebrates its partnership with mines and the ways it assists customers to mine more efficiently, effectively, safely and sustainably. The 5,124 sq.m exhibit will feature a broad range of product displays, new equipment introductions, previews of what the future holds and remote operating stations.

The exhibit will be grouped under three specific core areas: environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and sustainability; technology and automation; and equipment lifecycle management solutions.

The headline exhibits come September 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center will, no doubt, be the brand new Cat D11 XE dozer, the new Cat® R1700 XE battery-electric LHD (pictured, top), and new R2900 XE LHD diesel-electric drivetrain. The company also intends to display the recently released Cat 992K wheel loader, new Cat 777G water truck, Cat 794 AC electric drive truck and Cat MD6310 rotary blasthole drill.

“After waiting an extra year, the mining industry is ready to reconnect at MINExpo,” Caterpillar Resource Industries Group President, Denise Johnson, said. “We are excited to show our customers and the industry the advancements Caterpillar has made not only in equipment, technology and services but also in how we are helping customers mine more sustainably.

“While we are eager to exhibit in Las Vegas, we recognise that many of our dealers and customers will not be able to travel to the show. Therefore, we are also creating a digital Caterpillar experience at cat.com/mining, where we will place MINExpo specific content.”

Mining sustainably

Central to Caterpillar’s commitment to mining better together is helping customers meet their ESG goals and build sustainable mine sites of the future. Recognising one size does not fit all, Caterpillar has followed a strategic approach with a long-term vision of discovering, developing and delivering a broad portfolio of products, technologies, services and solutions, it said.

“This portfolio allows Caterpillar to provide a full site approach, which combines offerings with integration expertise to identify and provide the best possible solution for each specific mine,” Cat explained.

Vital to the vision of the all-electric underground mine of the future, the new Cat R1700 XE LHD will feature 100% battery-electric propulsion that generates significantly less heat and noise. It offers a 15t payload, 24,190 kg lift and tilt breakout force, and 18 km/h top speed. To optimise runtime and improve safety, batteries stay on the machine for charging, with the new portable Cat MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger able to charge the unit in as little as 20 minutes.

The new R2900 XE LHD diesel-electric drivetrain to be displayed features a significant reduction in maintenance and repair costs, while minimising emissions. Its redesigned lift arm and components delivers up to a 39% improved lift breakout force over the R2900G, making this model up to 31 tonnes per litre more fuel efficient, Cat claims.

Cat is set to unveil what it says is the world’s largest, most powerful and efficient electric drive dozer with high drive. The new Cat D11 XE dozer will be the most advanced, lowest emission-per-tonne dozer in the industry, built to deliver the lowest cost of bank cubic meters ever.

Exhibited alongside the D11 XE, the new Cat D10 dozer (below) offers up to 4% less fuel consumption than the previous model, up to 3% more productivity with high-horsepower reverse and up to 6% more efficiency with combined load-sensing hydraulics and stator clutch torque divider, according to Cat.

The recently introduced Cat 992 wheel loader to go on show delivers up to a 32% increase in productivity. It reduces maintenance costs by up to 10% and has demonstrated in field testing up to 48% greater payload-per-fuel efficiency in applications where a four-pass match to 90.7 t trucks was achieved versus five passes with the 992K.

Caterpillar says it is committed to helping customers with their energy transitions, and the MINExpo exhibit will include a range of renewable and storable power displays, including the Cat Microgrid system. The Cat 3516 engine, meanwhile, will feature dynamic gas blending (DGB), which allows mines to save fuel and reduce emissions without sacrificing diesel performance.

Driving technology and automation

“Technology and automation are critical components for substantially improving machine uptime availability and productivity,” Marc Cameron, Vice President, Caterpillar Resource Industries, said. “Through Cat MineStar™ Solutions, Caterpillar offers customers scalable technologies to fit the mine’s specific needs. The exhibit’s technology and automation stage will focus on the real value that Caterpillar technology options provide customers.”

MINExpo will be the first opportunity for many attendees to learn more about the recently introduced Cat MineStar Edge. This solution brings visibility to the entire mining operation to show how activities early in the process impact those further down the value chain, according to the company. MineStar Edge makes it possible to measure, manage, analyse and improve the entire mining operation.

Equipped with MineStar Command for hauling, the new Cat 777G water truck provides a glimpse into the future for autonomously lowering dust levels at the mine site while maintaining haul road safety. Featuring the market’s first autonomous water delivery system, the machine integrates truck, tank and sprayer, and knows where and when to water haul roads.

Representing the Caterpillar fleet of autonomous trucks, the displayed Cat 794 AC electric drive (pictured below) will be factory-installed with Cat MineStar Command for hauling. Recently, autonomous trucks using Command for hauling surpassed 3 billion tonnes of material hauled, safely traveling more than 110 million km.

Accurate to the centimetre, the exhibited Cat MD6310 rotary blasthole drill offers technology, efficiency, safety and productivity improvements. Fully integrating Caterpillar’s components and systems, including technology and automation, the drill is capable of up to 42,149 kg of bit load and targets 203-to-311-mm hole diameters.

Exhibiting how technology can improve safety at the mine site, the Cat MineStar Detect Driver Safety System (DSS) display details how the system monitors eye closure and head pose to alert the driver via seat vibration and/or audio alarm the moment fatigue or distraction is identified. DSS has been shown to reduce 97% of the most significant fatigue events, 80% of average fatigue events and 91% of distraction events, Cat says.

Several Cat Command stations and trailers will be on display for attendees to experience effective remote control and semi-autonomous drilling, dozing and underground operations from many kilometres away.

Lifecycle solutions

Highlighting Caterpillar’s rebuild services capability, the rebuilt Cat C175-16 engine, which produces up to 2,550 kW, on display reduces overall owning and operating costs.

Team members will also be available to explain to attendees how MineStar Health maximises equipment availability and reliability by connecting the machine to the office. The service assists with proactive maintenance services and predictive equipment analysis by collecting equipment data, monitoring critical machine parameters, obtaining real-time alerts, analysing operational trends and patterns, predicting failures and receiving repair recommendations, Cat says.

Partnership and expertise

In addition to teams of workers with machine and technology expertise, representatives of Cat Financial and Cat Solutions will be on hand to share information on safety, fleet management and productivity offerings that can be combined into full site solutions.

A ThoroughTec® Simulation training will provide an opportunity to experience the 7495 electric rope shovel. In addition, attendees will be able to experience two next generation machine cabs – one for mining trucks and another for the 6060 hydraulic mining shovel – via actual cabs on display.

Centamin looks for partial diesel displacement with Cat DGB LNG trial

Centamin is to trial Caterpillar’s Dynamic Gas Blending (DGB) technology at its Sukari gold mine in Egypt as part of a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower costs.

The mine will trial the technology on three or four its haul trucks next year, Centamin CEO, Martin Horgan, told attendees at its capital markets webcast today.

The DGB conversion kits, available on Cat 785C and 793D haul trucks, are a dual-fuel technology that enables miners to substitute diesel fuel with LNG, according to Cat. The use of LNG has been proven to reduce emissions by up to 30%, as well as lower costs by up to 30%, Cat says.

Just last week, Gold Fields’ CEO Nick Holland told a panel at IMARC Online that the company would trial DGB technology on four of its haul trucks at its Tarkwa gold mine in Ghana.

While the use of DGB technology will partially displace Centamin’s use of diesel fuel with LNG, the company said it was also working on “full displacement” with LNG as part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The company has already committed to delivering a Stage 1 30 MW solar plant at Sukari, expected to replace 18–20 million litres of diesel consumption per year through operation during daylight hours.

In other areas of technology development, Centamin said it would soon be adding new Cat 6040 hydraulic face shovels to its existing fleet at Sukari, it had four “lightweight truck trays” currently operating at the mine, and it was trialling Metso Outotec Poly-Met mill liners on ball mills in its processing plant.

Gold Fields to trial Caterpillar dual-fuel solution on haul trucks at Tarkwa mine

Gold Fields plans to test the use of LNG to power haul trucks in a trial at its Tarkwa open-pit gold mine in Ghana, CEO Nick Holland told attendees of the IMARC Online event this week.

Speaking on a panel reviewing progress of the Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles (ICSV) initiative – a supply chain collaboration between the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) – Holland said the trial would involve a mix of LNG and diesel fuel at the operation, and four trucks would initially be tested with the fuel combination in 2021.

Gold Fields later confirmed to IM that the trial would take place in the second half of 2021 and involve the use of Caterpillar’s dual-fuel LNG Dynamic Gas Blending (DGB) retrofit system on four of the mine’s Cat 785C 146 t payload dump trucks.

The DGB conversion kits, available on Cat 785C and 793D haul trucks, are a dual-fuel technology that enables miners to substitute diesel fuel with LNG, according to Cat. The use of LNG has been proven to reduce emissions by up to 30%, as well as lower costs by up to 30%, Cat says.

DGB vaporises liquid fuel into natural gas, then replaces diesel fuel with LNG when possible. On average, DGB replaces about 60-65% of diesel with LNG, according to Cat.

Tarkwa, which is 90% owned by Gold Fields, produced 519,000 oz of gold in 2019, 1% lower than the 525,000 oz produced in 2018. It employs Engineers & Planners Co Ltd as mining contractor.

While this trial will potentially lower the company’s carbon emissions – as will Gold Fields’ plan to fit “diesel filters” on all its machines underground in the next 12-18 months – Holland pointed to a much loftier long-term goal during the ICSV panel.

“The challenge to our teams and OEMs is to move away from diesel completely,” he said.

Such a move could see the company employ both battery-powered and hydrogen-powered solutions at its underground mines, he added.

Cat’s DGB dual-fuel technology cuts costs, emissions at La Herradura gold mine

Caterpillar has been showing one of Mexico’s biggest gold mining operations that its Dynamic Gas Blending™ (DGB) technology can provide savings on fuel costs and emissions while maintaining the same performance, payload and productivity of its diesel haul trucks.

The mining OEM and its Mexico-based dealer, Matco Cat, have been working with Fresnillo’s Penmont division to convert its entire fleet of large mining trucks at the La Herradura open-pit mine, in Sonora.

Caterpillar’s dual-fuel DGB technology, which has accumulated 10 million hours in the oil and gas industry since 2013, works by blending lower cost liquefied natural gas (LNG) with diesel fuel, according to Cat.

The resultant improvements in fuel, emissions and maintenance can add up to millions of dollars each year in cost savings, Cat said.

La Herradura, since 2016, has acted as a great case study for the technology given it has more than 250 Cat trucks and the operation hauls at least 25 Mt of volume per quarter (based on Fresnillo’s most recent Q4 production results).

In addition, the company has been looking for ways to “produce (gold) in a sustainable manner”, Fresnillo’s Abel Villa said in a recent Cat customer story.

According to Steve Igoe, Commercial Manager for Caterpillar’s Gas Engine Business, the benefits of DGB technology include, primarily, a lower cost per tonne, realised through a lower fuel cost. “DGB truck operation with LNG has proven very beneficial to La Herradura, and this is why they have decided to convert their entire fleet,” he said.

“Typically, LNG is 30% lower than the price of diesel. And, on a typical fleet at a mine, that adds up to millions of dollars a year,” he said. “And the trucks maintain the ability to operate 100% on diesel.”

Cat estimates a fleet of 100 trucks spends approximately $60-70 million/y on diesel fuel. With 65% displacement to LNG using DGB, that fleet could save $13 million/y on fuel alone.

DGB can also bring about a 30% cut in emissions compared with diesel-only operation – another important saving for mining companies looking at sustainability.

Trials during 2016 and 2017 of the technology at a gold mine in Turkey and a phosphate mine in the US have proven these claims.

For instance, the Turkey gold mine has retrofitted DGB technology on Cat 150-ton (136-t) 785C haul trucks and, since installation, has reached an average 70% average fuel displacement in addition to an operating cost reduction of $30/h.

Fresnillo’s Villa said La Herradura had gone further than this in terms of displacement.

“Initially when we started the project, the substitution rate was 70:30. We evaluated the results and changed the substitution to 85:15,” he said. This is close to the peak substitution rate Cat typically recommends.

Villa continued: “We have an average reduction of 70% in diesel consumption. We also considerably reduced the amount of emissions. When we compare both diesel and gas, the operation is the same.”

Cat said it observed a less than 1% difference in speed, payload and gear shifting, plus a 30% reduction in fuel cost, during one customer’s 5,000-h DGB trial.

La Herradura has also seen no unexpected maintenance issues during the trials, according to Fresnillo’s Enrique Leal. This is in keeping with Cat’s focus on reliability and productivity, with the company saying it has tallied zero hours of unplanned downtime.

So far, La Herradura has retrofitted 31 of its 785C haul trucks and a significant number of 240-ton (218-t) 793D trucks with the DGB technology.

Fresnillo’s Villa said the operation also plans to partner with a third party to build an LNG plant near the mine to ensure a sustainable supply.