A1 Minerals

Application: Prime Power - Mining       Download Power Profile

Hart MarineThe Background

A1 Minerals Limited is an emerging Australian gold miner with a ground holding of over 500 square kilometres in the highly prospective Laverton
district in the Eastern Goldfields of Western

In order to maximise returns from their extensive holdings, A1 Minerals commissioned their own gold treatment plant for the BrightStar gold project that came online in February 2010 and produced its first
7.99kg unrefined gold bar the following month.

According to Energy Power Systems W.A. Sales Engineer, Nick Robinson, meeting A1 Minerals’ power requirements for their BrightStar project within their nominated timeframe would have challenged most suppliers, but with the combined resources of Energy Power Systems Australia (EPSA), WesTrac and Caterpillar® Finance we were able to get them up and running on schedule.

“A1 Minerals’ strategy from the beginning was to have built-in redundancy for both the equipment and the mine’s camp to enable them to maintain production no matter what the circumstances were.


“Following an initial inquiry about availability and pricing of 500 kVA generator sets we put together a total design,
engineering, installation, commissioning and maintenance proposal built around our Olympian generator set range and were awarded the contract in late 2009. 

“At the end of their review process it became clear to A1 Minerals that EPS was best placed to not only provide a turn-key power solution but to also assist with finance through Cat Finance and then support the Olympian generators through-life via our support partner, WesTrac. 

“From EPSA’s point of view, our range of Olympian generators were ideally suited to their requirements as they
represent a lower cost entry level product that are designed, engineered and manufactured for optimal 
performance at Caterpillar’s ISO 9001 certified facility in the United Kingdom. 

“As such, they deliver Caterpillar’s legendary performance, exceptional fuel efficiency, proven performance and unmatched nation-wide support, while from A1 Minerals’ point of view they also liked the fact that we had product available from stock and that they could see it in operation to see that it was suitable for their purposes.

“Initially their brief called for three 500 kVA generator sets, but after conducting an electrical analysis of the 300,000 tonne per annum processing plant’s load requirements we recommended five Olympian GP550 generator
sets matched together. This configuration would not only deliver the required output but also ensure the system
provided the level of in-built redundancy they required.

“During the review process A1 Minerals decided to increase the plant’s power capacity to support a ramp-up in their processing capacity to 700,000 tonnes annually, if required. 

“Ultimately we designed a prime power generation system for the processing plant that used six 500 kVA Olympian GEP550 gensets in conjunction with two smaller Olympian GEH250 and GEH275 gensets, rated at 230
kVA and 250 kVA respectively, for the 60 man base camp. 

“We then designed, engineered and manufactured the generator marshalling board at Energy Power System’s Welshpool W.A. facility and paralleled the generators prior to delivery and installation in January, 2010. 

The Solution

“Our new generation data centres are based on a modular build configuration which significantly reduces the build time by more than 60 per cent compared to a traditional, non-modular build. We are now complementing our modular data centre build with a modular supporting power plant based on Caterpillar‘s® Continuous power Module (CPM), which includes a UPS, generator and switchgear within an ISO shipping container for conditioned continuous power.” 

“CPM’s fi t the bill because they are completely customizable to meet customer and site needs,” says EPSA’s  UPS Business Manager, Greg Conrad, who assisted EPSA’s tender application by “adapting our offer to suit Metronode’s site specific conditions and requirements.”

“Retrofi tting can be quite expensive and adds weeks to a construction schedule, so with a customised CPM there is a reduction in time of travel, installation costs, and there is also minimal disruption to work due to outages. We also delivered significant cost efficiencies, with lower upfront costs, a lower cost of ownership and a high energy efficiency rating, which was integral to the brief.”

“We use the Cat Flywheel UPS, which has a very high effi ciency so our CPM helps contribute to a lower PUE (power usage effectiveness), which is the industry standard metric for measuring total facility energy usage compared to IT equipment energy usage. The UPS is very reliable and doesn’t require much servicing. When it does, Westrac provides a full range of service offerings.” 

The Results

The first of its kind built in Australia, each of the three CPM’s built for Metronode’s new Perth facility is a 40 foot ISO shipping container with a 12-hour base fuel system, diesel generator, integrated Flywheel UPS technology, and meets Metronode’s low noise requirement with a quiet 65 dB(A) at 7 metres noise requirement, says Greg Conrad.

“Due to the timeframe and specific customer requirements, each CPM was constructed and rigorously tested in Sydney and then shipped to Perth as a complete unit. The speed to market was just 16 weeks. This is a unique design for us and allows for further expansion. 

The guiding principle of this bespoke design was one of scalability where additional modules can be added as required.”

Working in collaboration with EPSA and Cat has enabled the CPM to be designed, developed and built within EPSA’s factory at Ingleburn in NSW, meeting stringent technical requirements to achieve Metronode’s requirements of Uptime Tier III performance, says Michael Kalny.


“The commercial and technical teams at EPSA have been very supportive and accommodating to deliver a quality product both on time and within our allocated budget.” 
– Michael Kalny, Metronode


Energy Power Systems Australia (EPSA) is Australia’s specialised Cat® engine dealer, supplying Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands with the world’s finest power systems for any application, from marine propulsion to industrial power, electric power generation, oil and gas drilling and offshore production. With an extensive model range, EPSA can configure a solution to meet the needs of any application using a choice of diesel or gas engines.

EPSA also has a national fleet of rental generators, air compressors and temperature control units. Rent the latest technology and products with no maintenance and storage costs. Rent for a day or however long you need with a quick response anywhere in Australia.

EPSA is also a solutions provider, offering design, engineering, procurement and construction for turnkey projects of all sizes and across a broad range of applications.

EPSA’s network of offices across Australia and PNG delivers you technically superior Cat engines with unmatched engineering support, technical advice and after sales support.

Caterpillar® is your guarantee of ongoing dependability, reliability and efficiency.

Supplying Australia with the world’s best power systems.