HomeDecentralized EnergyMAN Energy gas engines power remote Bolivia iron ore plant

MAN Energy gas engines power remote Bolivia iron ore plant

Germany’s MAN Energy Solutions has delivered ten of its 20V35/44G gas engines with a combined capacity of over 100 MW to power a steel mill in Bolivia.

The engines will supply electricity for the El Mutàƒºn iron ore mine ” one of the largest of its kind in the world ” on the border with Brazil.

Estimates indicate that there could be over 40 billion tonnes of iron ore in an area of 75 square kilometers. The site does not just mine iron ore but also processes it into steel directly on-location, which requires large-scale industrial machinery with high energy needs, such as blast furnaces and rolling mills.

“When it comes to processing steel, large and in particular spontaneous load changes are one of the biggest energy supply challenges,” said Martin Hàƒ¶hler, Head of Region Asia Pacific at MAN Energy Solutions.

“Due to the remote location of the El Mutàƒºn mine, it simply isn’t possible to ensure satisfactory coverage through the national power grid. Instead, our localized power plant solution guarantees the flexible, reliable and independent supply of electricity at all times.”

He said gas engines were “the perfect choice in this case. Thanks to their high reaction speed, these engines reach their full output in less than five minutes and can handle quick load changes effortlessly.”

Bolivia has rich natural gas deposits and therefore a good gas infrastructure, which means there is a secure supply of local natural gas for the power plant.

Since the mine is located in the heart of South America and very difficult to access by road, the engines had to be delivered by water via the Paranàƒ¡ River. They were transported on barges from Uruguay via Argentina and Paraguay around 2400 kilometers upstream to Bolivia. 

Kelvin Ross
Kelvin Ross is Editor-in-Chief of Enlit Europe and Power Engineering International. A journalist for more than 30 years, he has worked on regional, national and international newspapers, as well as trade magazines serving sectors including insurance, shipping, health and financial markets. He has covered the energy sector for more than 10 years. He helped establish Energy Live News in the UK before joining PEi and he has been ranked among the top 100 global influencers on Twitter for 'renewable energy' and 'smart grid' topics.