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.”