In what is a world-first for global energy provider Aggreko, the company has introduced its latest highly efficient gas engines at a West Australian gold mine.
The power station, which uses a virtual pipeline of gas trucked over 650km, is expected to slash the mine’s carbon emissions (Co2) by 25,000 tonnes during the next five years.
Aggreko’s provision of modular energy services spans more than 80 countries, and it has serviced the mining industry for more than 30 years.
Aggreko Australia Pacific Managing Director George Whyte said the newly commissioned gas power station was built at Ora Banda Mining’s Davyhurst Gold Mine, which is about 150km north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.
Mr Whyte said the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) station project 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,” Mr 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 tonnes during the initial five years of operation.
“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.”
Mr Whyte added that 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. In addition, Aggreko upscales the technology, and the level of power is scalable so it can evolve with the mine,” he said.
“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 their 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 reestablish 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,” Mr Quinlivan said.
“Initially, power was supplied to the site via an overhead line from Kalgoorlie. It is now trucked 650km 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.”
An 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 (CNG) to the point of use by sea, road, rail or through a combination of one or more of these transport modes.
Aggreko’s team is skilled at designing, installing, and operating off-grid virtual power plants to provide reliable energy even as mines explore further away from power grids. For more information visit https://www.aggreko.com/en-au/sectors-and-services/power-plants/virtual-power-plants