The gold standard for mine power performance30 June 2022
Wärtsilä has signed a 5-year performance-based agreement for a 20 MW power plant combined with a 40 MW plant extension installation at a gold mine in Africa.
By guaranteeing the availability of power, Wa¨rtsila¨ says it delivers crucial support to the mine’s operations. Matching power availability with operational demand is required, monitored and incentivised on a daily basis.
“This is an isolated mine with no grid connection, so a reliable source of electricity from the captive Wa¨rtsila¨ power plant is essential for maintaining the mine’s productivity and operating-revenue-earning capability”, commented Marc Thiriet, energy business director, Africa West, Wa¨rtsila¨.
“After analysing the customer’s needs and how we could meet them, we developed the performance guarantee as an assurance of plant availability, while minimising fuel consumption and running hours as important cost-saving benefits. We see performance-based agreements becoming widely utilised as an effective solution.”
The power plant in question has four Wa¨rtsila¨ 32 engines, which commenced operation in 2016. The extension with a further four Wa¨rtsila¨ 32 engines was subsequently added, and commissioned in 2021. Wa¨rtsila¨ has had an O&M agreement for the plant since 2017, which has now evolved into becoming this performance-based agreement.
Long-term service agreements are an important element within Wa¨rtsila¨’s lifecycle services, providing “value-adding customer support.” Performance-based service agreements include quantifiable targets, which are mutually agreed based on the customer’s business needs. The measurable indicators can include, for example, power availability, reliability, fuel consumption, and emissions. Wa¨rtsila¨ shares the risks and rewards with the customer.
Globally, Wa¨rtsila¨ currently has 14 GW of power plant capacity covered by long-term service agreements, of which 2 GW is in Africa.
Another recent gold mining development announced by Wa¨rtsila¨ was the winning of an order to supply a 22 MW natural gas fuelled power plant to mining company Argonaut Gold Inc for its Magino gold mine in Ontario, Canada. According to Wa¨rtsila¨, the order emphasises once again “its growing presence in the Canadian energy market, as well as its strong position in serving the power needs for the mining industry globally.”
The power plant will consist of four Wa¨rtsila¨ 34SG gas engines.
Wa¨rtsila¨ said it received four power plant orders in Canada in 2021, and three of those were from mining companies.