Client: Silver Mine
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Power and heat in the harshest environment
An extremely remote silver mine in British Columbia was being reopened and the operators required power and heat for the mine staff. As the site is high up in the mountains there is no grid connection for gas or electricity and it takes over four hours to drive there from the nearest town. They needed a reliable, sustainable power source that would not be compromised by heavy snowfall and winter temperatures of -55°C.
Virtual LNG pipeline with heat recovery plant
Aggreko created a virtual pipeline to ensure a steady flow of LNG to the site. 5 x 1300kw generators were installed using a triaxle pull truck and a push truck to overcome the mountainous environment and fuel was then regularly trucked in over a 700 km journey. Aggreko also installed a storage facility to allow for a surplus of fuel to be kept on-site to cover for periods when the roads are closed due to heavy snowfall or other extreme conditions.
This 6.5MW powered the mine itself, but rather than installing more generators for heating we designed a system to take the heat off the water jackets of the existing generators using a closed loop system with exchanges to heat the entire mill.
Due to the remote location and the need to have an emergency egress plan meeting MSHA and mining ministry standards, we installed 3MW of diesel backup power that can be used in the event of any equipment failure.
To maximize uptime we provided an on-site technician to monitor all the equipment and respond immediately to any issues. We used a satellite link to send data back to our service center for analysis, who then reported any potential failures to the on-site technician to investigate before they had an impact on operations
Smooth operations, reduced emissions, and big savings
All the equipment was installed and commissioned on schedule to get the mine operating in under 3 months. The use of LNG as the main power source and Aggreko’s innovative heat recovery system has significantly reduced the carbon footprint of the mine, and the heat recovery itself has saved the operator around $50,000 per year in fuel costs.
The on-site technician combined with Aggreko’s remote monitoring ensured that the complete solution has remained reliable and functional - and downtime has been avoided.
Aggreko’s expertise in working in extreme environments has meant that despite the incredibly challenging weather and terrain the power and heat have been constant and there has not been a single safety incident throughout the operation.