Baseload power for a coal mine

Baseload power for the construction and commissioning of a coal mine

Situation

Xstrata’s Mangoola coal mine is an open cut mine located 20 kilometres west of Muswellbrook, in the Hunter Region of New South Wales. Mangoola is based on a large and previously undeveloped coal reserve of approximately 150 million tonnes.

During the construction of the mine, the connection to the local power grid was delayed. Without access to sufficient power, the completion of the project was at risk of falling behind schedule. With supply contracts already in place, any delay to the completion of the project had to be avoided. It was therefore vital that an alternative power source be secured in the absence of the grid connection.

Solution

Aggreko already had a number of generators located at Mangoola across various areas of the project from the initial stages of the mine’s development. When it was recognised that Xstrata would require a more substantial and longer-term power source, Aggreko consolidated the existing fleet and added additional capacity into a centralised, temporary power plant.

Due to the modular nature of the Aggreko solution, the power plant was able to grow incrementally in line with the increasing demands of the project. This included 2 MW for pumping of water from the nearby river for the processing plant and 4 MW for the commissioning of the drive motors on the coal conveyer transfer system. At its peak, the plant was supplying 16 MW of baseload power across the entire commissioning activities of the project.

The power plant was operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by Aggreko technicians based on-site and was supported by the nearby Aggreko depot in Newcastle.


Why was Aggreko chosen?

Aggreko worked with Xstrata to quickly move from a decentralised, job specific power provision to supplying a fully integrated power plant to run the entire project.

By consolidating the existing equipment into a centralised power station, the provision of power became both more flexible and economical. Power supply could be more easily regulated between periods of high and low usage which ensured a more cost effective level of fuel consumption.

Aggreko was highly proactive in bringing a solution that addressed the issues we were facing duringthe early phases of the Mangoola project. The quality and reliability of the power solution they provided was first class

Scott Elliot - Project Manager, Mangoola Coal, Xstrata