Tag Archives: Zenith Energy

Zenith Energy, Liontown go big with proposed hybrid power plan at Kathleen Valley lithium project

Zenith Energy and Liontown Resources have partnered on what they say is Australia’s largest off-grid renewable energy hybrid power station project.

The letter of award between the two companies covers a potential contract to build, own, and operate the hybrid power station in Australia at Liontown’s Kathleen Valley Project in Western Australia.

The award will see Zenith Energy construct a 95 MW hybrid power station at Kathleen Valley in the Goldfields-Esperance region, which includes 30 MW of wind capacity, 16 MWp fixed axis solar PV array and a 17 MW/19 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).

Kathleen Valley is one of the world’s largest and highest-grade hard-rock lithium deposits and, with an initial 2.5 Mt/y production capacity, is expected to supply circa-500,000 t/y of 6% lithium oxide concentrate, according to the company. With first production expected in June quarter of 2024, the deposit will also produce tantalum pentoxide.

Zenith Managing Director, Hamish Moffat, says the partnership will allow Zenith Energy to demonstrate its innovation, flexibility and expertise to deliver low-carbon emitting hybrid power solutions.

“Zenith Energy is proud to continue to play a lead role in the energy transition, and to provide like-minded partners with a glide path to net zero,” he said. “The project also further demonstrates Zenith Energy’s continued commitment to increasing the proportion of renewable generation in our portfolio.”

Artist impressions of what the Kathleen Valley site will look like (and above)

Moffat says the thermal components of the power station are designed to operate in ‘engine off’ mode at various times, delivering 100% renewable energy generation to Kathleen Valley.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to showcase our expertise, and the ability of renewables to deliver reliable, continuous supply, to power an entire mining operation,” he said. “It will once again raise the industry benchmark in renewable energy integration and demonstrates our commitment to power decarbonisation.”

Other unique aspects of the agreement include:

  • Largest off-grid hybrid power station in Australia: The hybrid power station is currently expected to have the largest off-grid renewable capacity of any mining project in the country, with 46 MW and 17 MW BESS; and
  • Renewable incentives: A combination of incentives to produce renewable power over thermal power together with a renewable energy guarantee will allow Liontown to meet and exceed its renewable energy factor target of 60% at startup and beyond.

Liontown Managing Director and CEO, Tony Ottaviano, says Liontown is delighted to partner with such an experienced and highly competent power producer.

“We believe Zenith Energy is an ideal partner to delivery an industry leading hybrid power station to meet Liontown’s energy needs and requirements for a high-capacity renewable solution,” Ottaviano said. “The hybrid power station proposed will enable Liontown to exceed our target of achieving at least 60% renewable energy at project start-up and beyond.”

Moffat says Zenith Energy is engaged with Traditional Owners, recently announcing a collaboration with Tjiwarl Contracting Services to work together to deliver low carbon emission power solutions for miners and communities on Tjiwarl native title determined lands.

Zenith Energy and Liontown have agreed key commercial terms and are working to finalise arrangements under a binding long term build, own and operate power purchase agreement.

Zenith Energy to roll out 5B Maverick solar system across Australian mine sites

Renewable energy penetration is set to increase on major mine sites in the Goldfields and Pilbara regions of Australia, after Zenith Energy and 5B signed a deployment agreement that could see the 5B Maverick™ system rolled out.

Zenith, one of Australia’s leading independent power producers, and 5B, a clean energy technology provider, signed an Ecosystem Framework Agreement-Deployment, permitting Zenith to be a deployment partner of the 5B Maverick system within Australia.

The 5B Maverick system solar array is prefabricated, allowing rapid deployment while increasing the ability of Zenith to expand renewable assets across existing and future sites, Zenith said. Each 5B Maverick array consists of up to 90 solar panels, mounted on specially designed racks, and optimised for the 540-550 W module class of the utility scale solar industry.

Zenith Managing Director, Hamish Moffat, said the partnership represents the next step in reducing emissions across Zenith’s legacy portfolio.

“We’ve been looking to increase renewable assets across multiple sites for some time; the question has always been around how we can achieve that in such a way that is economically viable,” he said. “The 5B Maverick system is re-deployable, meaning it can be integrated on mines with shorter tenure, and moved at the end of operations at those sites.”

He added: “It offers Zenith greater ability to leverage value from our initial capital expenditure, making it more cost effective to offer expanded renewable energy solutions for our clients.”

5B Co-Founder and CEO, Chris McGrath, said the strategic partnership is an important validation of 5B Maverick’s ability to reduce deployment complexity.

“This has been a major barrier for solar installations on mine sites worldwide,” he said. “The agreement also shows that our cost reduction efforts over the past two years have worked – we’ve hit the price point where 5B Mavericks can be viably packed up and redeployed elsewhere, substantially reducing the risk of stranded assets in mining, agricultural and industrial operations.”

Moffat said Zenith is looking to integrate the 5B Maverick system across three sites initially. These include:

  • Nova: The 5B Maverick will play a major role in Zenith’s industry first ‘engine-off’ project at IGO’s Nova nickel mine, allowing the site to operate on up to nine consecutive hours of renewable energy through the installation of an extra 10 MW of solar, and a 10 MW battery energy storage system;
  • Warrawoona: Zenith recently committed to the supply, installation, and commissioning of a 4 MW DC Solar Farm, using the 5B Maverick, as well as a 3 MW/3 MWh AC battery energy storage system at Warrawoona, owned by Calidus Resources. The hybrid power station configuration will reduce gas use, which in turn results in a reduction in emissions; and
  • King of The Hills: Work is currently underway to install 2 MW of 5B Maverick on the Red 5 site, also supported by a battery energy storage system.

Moffat said the 5B agreement is another key milestone on the company’s journey toward ‘net zero’.

“Our 2035 ‘net zero’ target strikes a balance between ambition and ability to achieve, with the 5B partnership a clear demonstration of our progress and commitment to this goal,” he said.

McGrath said 5B was keen to partner with Zenith, given the independent power producer’s strong reputation and credibility in providing renewable energy solutions to the mining and resources industry.

“We’re keen to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with like-minded companies, and Zenith definitely fits the bill,” he said. “It is great to see Zenith leveraging the ability of the 5B Maverick solar arrays to deploy up to 10 times faster, more safely than single axis tracker and fixed tilt solar systems, to deliver a full solution for their customers.”

Moffat said the partnership offers both Zenith and 5B the opportunity to continue to lead the industry, demonstrating the ability and capacity to effectively integrate renewable energy solutions.

“We have continually said we want to be part of the renewable solution, not just by developing the concepts needed, but by also actively deploying and proving the technology,” he said. “The partnership with 5B allows us to do this and continue to bring our clients on the glide path to ‘net zero’.”

Wärtsilä energy storage system reinforces Zenith Energy’s power plan at Australian underground mine

Wärtsilä will supply a 9.2 MW/8.7 MWh energy storage system to Zenith Energy, an Independent Power Producer in Australia, to address a cyclic load demand in an underground mine.

The installed energy storage system will operate in parallel with an existing dual fuel engine power plant currently with total capacity of 65.98 MW, Wärtsilä says.

The energy storage system will be delivered on an engineered equipment delivery basis and is expected to become operational in the March quarter of 2022. The order was booked in June 2021.

Zenith Energy is a repeat customer for Wärtsilä and had previously procured three operating Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engines that are used for constant load feed. Zenith will add a further two Wärtsilä 34SG pure gas engines to the current fleet in 2022.

The new energy storage system, combining the fully integrated GridSolv Quantum modules and GEMS Digital Energy Platform, will cater to a more frequent cycling load, the company says. Adding storage will save the engines from frequent ramping by managing the power fluctuations of the mining site, therefore improving the operational efficiency, resulting in fuel savings and a lower carbon footprint for the mine’s power plant.

Simon Jelly, Technology and Infrastructure Manager, Zenith Energy, says: “Wärtsilä as the supplier of both engine and the energy storage systems provides the best solution available for us to feed power efficiently to our end customer. The addition of an energy storage system to also work as spinning reserve to provide emergency back-up and short duration power, will mitigate any power interruptions. Should such situations occur, the system will supply load until a stand-by engine is started. Moreover, the storage system will help further reduce the plant’s carbon footprint.”

Kari Punnonen, Energy Business Director, Australasia, Wärtsilä, says: “For islanded grids, such as mining plants, where the source of power is limited, our energy storage solution can manage the reliability and efficiency of the system and also support their decarbonisation initiative. Repeat business with our customer Zenith Energy, reaffirms our technology leadership and commitments towards this market.”

Wärtsilä’s GEMS Digital Energy Platform will integrate Zenith’s engines and operate as a Power Plant Controller, providing a platform for intelligent control and optimised operation for the hybrid plant, it says. GEMS is also capable of managing the remote grid under a single portfolio in future operations.

With Wärtsilä’s energy storage and advanced energy management system, there will be future opportunities for Zenith to seamlessly integrate other renewable energy sources such as  photovoltaic solar or wind into this hybrid network, it says.

Red 5 taps Zenith Energy for hybrid power options at King of the Hills gold project

Red 5 Ltd has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with a subsidiary of Zenith Energy Ltd that will see the growing Australia-based power producer build, own and operate approximately 30 MW of hybrid power generation capacity to service the needs of the King of the Hills (KOTH) project in Western Australia.

The power inputs as part of the BOO agreement comprise high efficiency reciprocating gas fuel power generation together with a 2 MW photovoltaic solar farm (an example from Zenith’s other work shown above) and a battery energy storage system.

Power supply to the site is planned to commence in the March quarter of 2022 with an initial term of 10 years. The contract includes provision for a potential future upgrade to the power station to support increased plant throughput beyond the initial planned 4 Mt/y run rate, Red 5 says.

Gas will be supplied from the Goldfields Gas Pipeline, 12 km west of the mine, under separate contracts, the company clarified.

Red 5 Managing Director, Mark Williams, said the award of the agreement marked another important construction milestone for the King of the Hills project while, at the same time, helping to achieve one of the company’s environmental, social and governance commitments to reduce the carbon footprint of the project.

“We are pleased to have signed the Power Purchase Agreement with Zenith, an experienced power producer which provided us with a compelling hybrid thermal and sustainable power solution that includes renewable energy,” he said. “Zenith’s combination of a gas and solar power station, supported by a battery energy storage system, provides the efficiency and stability required for the processing plant and infrastructure to enable King of the Hills to be a long-life, low-cost gold producer.”

The KOTH project is an open pit and underground gold deposit with a projected mine life of over 16 years. This could see the company produce 176,000 oz/y of gold over the first six years, according to a recent feasibility study.

Zenith Energy to power up Plutonic gold mine

Zenith Energy says it will add a further 6 MW of installed capacity at Billabong Gold’s Plutonic project power station.

The two companies’ agreement will see the remote power generation specialist build, own and operate (BOO) the power station expansion to increase its capacity to 12 MW, while the current power purchase agreement term between the two companies will be extended by 52 months.

Located in the Archaean Plutonic Marymia Greenstone Belt, 800 km northeast of Perth in Western Australia, the Plutonic mine has been powered by Zenith since 2014.

The increased generating capacity will be delivered by the installation of an additional 6 MW of power via Jenbacher 620 Spark Ignition gas generator technology.

Upon installation, which is set to be completed in the June quarter, Zenith’s total BOO capacity will increase from circa-226 MW to more than 232 MW, it said.

Since Superior Gold, the parent company of Billabong Gold, acquired the Plutonic gold mine from Northern Star Resources in September 2016, it has achieved cumulative production of more than 276,000 oz of gold, according to Superior. The mine produced 83,035 oz of gold in 2019.

Back in October, the company delivered a five-year underground mine plan at Plutonic that would see the operation produce at least 100,000 oz/y of gold over this time frame.

Pacific Equity Partners to power up Zenith Energy

Off-grid power generation specialist Zenith Energy looks like going into private hands after an entity owner by Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) made a bid to acquire the ASX-listed company.

The bid from Elemental Infrastructure BidCo, which has been unanimously recommended by Zenith’s board of directors, values Zenith’s equity at around A$150 million ($98 million) and enterprise value at some $250 million.

It would see all Zenith shareholders receive A$1.01/share in cash, which represents a 45.3% premium to the last closing price of Zenith shares on March 6 of $0.695/share.

Zenith has gained in prominence since becoming a public entity in May 2018. This has seen it deploy several hybrid power solutions including solar and diesel power at gold and base metal operations in remote parts of Australia. Some of its standout work includes a diesel installation at Newmont’s Tanami gold operation in the Northern Territory and a solar project at Independence Group’s Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine in Western Australia.

Peter Torre, Chairman of Zenith’s Independent Board Committee, said: “Zenith has regularly reviewed opportunities that align with its strategy to maximise shareholder returns. The Zenith Board believes the proposal from Elemental represents an opportunity for shareholders to receive compelling and certain value. The proposal delivers a significant premium and recognises the success of Zenith as a leading provider of reliable energy solutions in the Asia Pacific region.”

Pacific Equity Partners Managing Director, Andrew Charlier, said: “PEP has a strong history in backing management teams in the remote power sector and with the additional capital firepower PEP can bring to Zenith, we are highly optimistic about the company’s future growth.”

Subject to shareholder approval being obtained by Zenith shareholders and the other conditions of the scheme being satisfied, the scheme is expected to be implemented in June 2020.

Zenith Energy and Independence celebrate solar start up at Nova

Operations at Independence Group’s Nova nickel-copper-cobalt operation in the Fraser Range of Australia are now being powered by a mix of diesel and solar energy after the on-site hybrid solar PV-diesel facility started up.

Zenith Energy’s wholly owned subsidiary, Zenith Pacific, built the plant. The ASX-listed power company also owns and operates the facility, which, it said, is already exceeding performance targets for power output and energy efficiency.

The two signed a contract back in 2018, amending an existing power purchase agreement.

Within the 26.6 MW facility is 5.5 MW of state-of-the-art photovoltaic (PV) modules, single axis tracking, inverters and communications and control system technology, according to Zenith Energy’s Managing Director, Hamish Moffat. The system also features high-efficiency diesel-fuelled generators that combine with this control system to optimise solar and diesel power delivery.

Moffat said: “The proprietary hybrid system developed by the company is able to seamlessly manage the fluctuations in solar PV energy production to provide smooth, reliable power, without the need for batteries to stabilise energy delivery to Nova.”

He explained that batteries have their place in energy systems but are still expensive to deploy for these applications.

“Our unique, locally developed hybrid system eliminates the need for batteries and represents a major step forward in the capital cost optimisation, operating efficiency and environmental performance of solar PV hybrid energy systems in remote locations,” he added.

According to Moffat, the system is saving Nova in the order of 6,500 litres of diesel a day, and it is the first hybrid solar PV-diesel installation to have been funded on a commercial, standalone basis – without any government subsidies.

IGO’s Chief Operating Officer, Matt Dusci, said: “At IGO we are striving to reduce our carbon footprint. The implementation of new technologies with the construction of a hybrid‐solar system at Nova will enable IGO to reduce our CO2-equivalent emissions by approximately 6,500 t per annum. The solar facility will also decrease our cost structure through reductions in our diesel fuel usage.”

As part of an agreement between the two companies, Zenith will supply power from the solar PV‐diesel hybrid system for an initial six‐year period, with an option for Independence to extend for a further two years.

Nova is expected to produce 6,750-7,500 t of nickel concentrate in the year ending June 30, 2020, alongside 2,750-3,125 t of copper concentrate and 213-238 t of cobalt concentrate, according to the miner’s September quarter results.

Zenith Energy completes Jundee power station expansion for Northern Star

Independent power producer, Zenith Energy has completed and commissioned its 6 MW build own and operate (BOO) power station expansion at Northern Star Resources’ Jundee gold mine, in the northern Goldfields region of Western Australia.

The 6 MW of expansion capacity at Jundee adds to the existing 19.2 MW, increasing Zenith’s BOO capacity to 25.2 MW, Zenith said. The power station comprises an upgrade to the existing facility with the installation of an added 6 MW of Jenbacher 620 Spark Ignittion gas generator technology.

The station incorporates natural gas fuelled generators, which will provide the Jundee mine with highly efficient, cost effective and clean gas fuelled power generation into the future, according to Zenith.

The Jundee processing circuit is a conventional CIL plant with a hard-rock processing capacity of approximately 1.8 Mt/y. The process consists of a single toggle overhead eccentric swing jaw crusher followed by a SAG and ball milling circuit incorporating gravity recovery and CIP process, achieving 92% recoveries. Northern Star produced 285,000 oz of gold at Jundee in its 2018 financial year.

Zenith said: “This project demonstrates the company’s ability to design, construct, install and commission expansion projects to meet our existing customers’ changing power supply requirements.”

The full commissioning of the Jundee expansion delivers a 6 MW uplift in installed BOO MW capacity in the company’s portfolio, and a corresponding uplift in revenue from the September quarter and going forward, Zenith said.

With the completion of the Jundee expansion, Zenith has established a strong track record for project delivery, with its portfolio of 219 MW of contracted BOO capacity and a total of 438 MW of total power generation capacity under control, it said.

Zenith Managing Director, Hamish Moffat, said: “We are proud to continue our partnership with Northern Star Resources at Jundee through the delivery of the Jundee Expansion Project, and now look forward to delivering additional reliable, cost effective power to support the Jundee gold mine.”

Adaman’s Kirklalocka gold project to be powered by LNG

Adaman Resources’ owned Kirkalocka gold project, in Western Australia, is set to be powered by LNG after the asset owner and EVOL LNG signed a agreement.

The long-term arrangement, between EVOL and Adaman Resources’ wholly-owned subsidiary Kirkalocka Gold SPV Pty Ltd, will see EVOL LNG fuel Zenith Energy’s 14.5 MW power station, with supply planned to commence from September 2019.

The gold mine, around 70 km south of Mt Magnet in the mid-west region of Western Australia, is set to restart operation after more than a decade, with the mine’s new owners refurbishing the processing plant and increasing its capacity to over 2.2 Mt/y.

EVOL LNG and Wholesale Manager, Nick Rea, said the use of LNG as an alternative to diesel will help minimise the mine’s carbon emissions.

“LNG produces 25% less CO2 emissions than diesel, and during the initial six years of operation, the mine will avoid 50,000 t of greenhouse gas emissions by fuelling its power station with LNG instead of diesel. This is the equivalent of keeping around 3,000 cars off the road,” Rea said.

EVOL, part of Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers, will build, own, operate and maintain the on-site LNG storage and vaporisation facility at the mine, it said. “The facility will use EVOL LNG’s modular design which allows for fast installation and expandability to suit the mine’s growing energy requirements,” the company added.

Adaman Resources’ Chief Executive Officer, Craig Bradshaw, said EVOL LNG will provide environmental, financial and economic benefits for the company.

“Utilising LNG as an alternative to diesel-fired generation will significantly reduce our energy costs and exposure to volatile diesel prices. Based on the current diesel price, we estimate our energy costs to be reduced by more than A$13 million ($9 million) during the first six years of operation,” he said.

EVOL’s Rea said Kirkalocka was the company’s third major contract in the mid-west in recent years; he sees huge potential for growth in this region.

“The scarcity of gas pipelines and absence of grid power would otherwise force off-grid mines to use diesel for power generation, but we are able to provide a much better solution with LNG. It’s clean, safe, reliable and lower cost than diesel.

“We have proven ourselves to the mining industry over the last decade, with seven mine sites now powered by EVOL LNG,” he said.

Newmont powers up at Tanami gold mine in Australia

Newmont Mining says it has completed the Tanami power project, in the Northern Territory of Australia, safely and on schedule.

The project included the installation of two power stations, a 66 kV interconnected power line, and a 450 km natural gas pipeline. The pipeline was built and will be maintained by Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, while the power stations were constructed and will be operated by Zenith Energy. Capital costs are estimated at approximately $245 million with annual cash lease payments over a 10-year term beginning in 2019.

The successfully completed project is expected to provide the Tanami gold mine a safe and reliable energy source while lowering power costs and carbon emission by 20%, Newmont said. The project is expected to generate net cash savings of $34/oz from 2019 to 2023, delivering an internal rate of return of greater than 50%.

Newmont Chief Executive Officer, Gary Goldberg, said: “In addition to lowering costs and carbon emissions, the completed Tanami power project will pave the way to further extend the life of the operation.

“Consistent execution and delivery remain the hallmark of our ability to generate free cash flow and create long-term value for our shareholders and other stakeholders. Completion of the project coincides with Tanami pouring its 10 millionth ounce of gold on the back of record production of 500,000 oz last year. This achievement is a testament to the skill of our team as well as our valued partnership with the Walpiri people, the Traditional Owners of the land.”

Tanami is Australia’s second largest underground gold mine and one of the most cost competitive gold producers in the world, according to Newmont. Newmont’s continued exploration work at Tanami has created the potential to extend mine life beyond 2028, with additional upside through a possible second expansion project the company expects to make a full funding decision on in the second half of 2019. Last year, more than 800,000 oz of gold resources were converted into reserves from Tanami’s Auron orebody.