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Iron Ore Mining Site Western Australia

Load testing a massive mine's power plant

Client: CITIC Pacific Mining

Location: Cape Preston, Western Australia

Sectors: Mining

The Challenge

Load testing and back-up power for giant mine

The world’s largest – and Australia’s first – magnetite iron ore mine and processing facility couldn’t fire up its own power station until thorough load testing had occurred. And for load testing, the mine needed load banks. Lots of them.

Knowing that we could bring in equipment from all around the country, CITIC Pacific Mining called us in to help. As well as load testing their 450 MW combined-cycle gas-fired power station, they also needed back-up power to keep construction moving along.

Project fact file

Load banks 14
Back-up power supplied 2.5MW
Size of on-site power plant 450MW

The Solution

2.5 MW of power and 14 load banks

It was our job to gather together 14 load banks supplying 12 MVA. We dispatched them from depots around Australia out to Cape Preston. There, they were quickly commissioned to test the capabilities of the on-site power plant – a plant big enough to power Australia’s capital city.

We also supplied 2.5 MW of power for other phases of the mine’s construction. Specifically, 1,600 kVA for the commissioning of the processing plant, 800 kVA for construction of the in-pit ore crushers, and 3,050 kVA for the intake pump of the project’s desalination plant. Plus, 13 generators were used in the commissioning of the dewatering plant.

With this mining project, we more than proved our ability to cope with massive scope, short timeframes and remote locations.

The Impact

450 MW power plant tested and commissioned

Once fully commissioned, the mine’s own 450 MW power plant would be used to provide power to everything from the mine’s very own port to the many processing facilities. Testing the load on the plant was critical, and our 14 load banks were up to the task.

Our back-up power helped CITIC Pacific tick all those other construction jobs off their list. With our help, they moved closer to the final commissioning of this massive magnetite ore mine.