Next-gen gas engines for West Australian gold mine

Image: Aggreko

Aggreko has developed a next-generation gas-fired power station at Ora Banda Mining’s Davyhurst mine in the goldfields region of Western Australia.

The project, which the company says is its world first, comprises five LNG generating sets and two diesel generating sets for a combined modular power output of 8.2MW.

The gas is delivered via a ‘virtual pipeline’, i.e. it is trucked in over 650km, avoiding the need to instal a conventional physical pipeline.

CO2 emissions reductions are estimated at around 25,000t during the initial five years of operation.

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Ora Branda Mining Managing Director David Quinlivan explains that initially power was supplied to Davyhurst via an overhead line from Kalgoorlie, about 150km to the south. However, as part of the capital works programme following the restarting of reprocessing in January 2021, there was the need to re-establish a power station at the site.

“The power station developed for the site now supplies power to the processing plant, to the administration complex, our exploration and core processing facilities, the main mine accommodation plant and out to the underground mining offices. It also powers our primary communications facilities.”

Aggreko Australia Pacific Managing Director George Whyte comments that the Davyhurst gas power station is a great example of how a mine that previously operated on diesel wanted to operate on cleaner fuel.

“Creating a virtual pipeline application is a way to switch from diesel to a cleaner fuel source and reduce carbon immediately without requiring any capital outlay or a physical gas pipeline.”

He adds that the project is a world-first for Aggreko in using the high-speed reciprocating gas engines in its gas power generators. The power station is highly efficient, scalable and very suitable for transient loads and for the introduction of solar at a later stage.

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