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Aggreko power gets frac sand mines to market faster

Frac sand mining - Power solutions
 

The rise of fracking in North America has triggered a boom in the sand mining sector.

Once considered nearly worthless, prices and demand for frac sand are skyrocketing. The annual projected supply of frac sand could reach 40 million tons, according to analysts.

Why the sudden demand for frac sand? Oil companies made a discovery: the more sand pumped into a well, the more oil they produce. That's why, for example, horizontal wells now consume an estimated 200,000 pounds of frac sand more than before.

And major suppliers are planning to expand their mining operations in response.

But, with a spike in activity comes power challenges. Access to interconnected power grids is limited. Especially for new frac sand mines and on-site processing facilities. Meaning more time and money invested now. And less time to capitalize early, and establish market share, in the frac sand rush.

The solution? Natural gas generators. With power up to 80 MW, temporary natural gas generators are a logical and intuitive choice for sand minds ready to enter production swiftly. And gain a head start on their competition.

Avoid infrastructure delays with temporary power

It can take anywhere from 12 to 24 months to set up the infrastructure to power a new frac sand mine. Primarily because mines are built in remote locations.

But no supplier wants to delay production on a new mine while waiting on power. Especially after investing tens of millions of dollars — or more.

Temporary natural gas can bridge the power gap.

Natural gas-powered generators help suppliers start and scale up operations cost-effectively and quickly. And reliably stay in production until the utility company sets up permanent power.

At Aggreko, we've helped several sand mine companies in the Permian Basin develop sophisticated, environmentally-conscious temporary power plans. With natural gas power at their core.

More benefits of temporary natural gas power:

Improved financial health

Natural gas requires a lower investment than alternative fuel sources. For example, natural gas generators cost 40-45% less than diesel, even with up-front expenses.

The installation, operation and maintenance costs pale in comparison to the cost of months — or years — of held production.

And once a grid connection becomes available, operators may sell surplus gas-generated power on the energy market. Allowing sand mines companies to cut costs, generate more revenue and re-allocate capital.

Reduced environmental footprint

Mine operators find natural gas to be an attractive option for not only economic reasons but also for environmental benefits.

  • Natural gas emits roughly 30% less carbon dioxide than diesel fuel, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
  • With the emergence of lean-burn engine technology, natural gas power generators meet EPA emissions regulations
  • With proper electrical grounding, natural gas generators meet the Mine Safety and Health Administration's requirements

Flexibility and redundancy

Temporary power generation is readily scalable to a frac sand mine's lifecycle. For example, a mine may only need 20 MW of power upfront. But it's easy to install an additional 5 MW of power at a time as construction progresses.

And while every project is different, gas-powered generation can achieve 100% uptime with a 2N+1 redundancy. Regardless of the site's required redundancy level or generator configuration.

This helps operators maintain full continuity, even during necessary maintenance and service.

Rent temporary natural gas power from Aggreko

Natural gas power is the most cost-effective, sustainable and flexible option for frac sand mines. And with Aggreko, you get a dependable solution for your temporary power needs.

We've helped mines gain significant traction and competitive advantage in the marketplace. Including one mine, which entered production almost a year ahead of schedule. With significantly reduced expenses and environmental impact.

Get your new frac sand mine to the market faster, and accumulate benefits every step of the way, with Aggreko's natural gas power rental solution.

 

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Case study

Providing power for remote sand mines

View the case study

Frac sand mining - Power solutions

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