Roy Hill iron ore project: pilbara, australia
Customer Business Issue:
Temporary power source for an expanding mine site and port facility under construction in a remote area of Australia.
Roy Hill is an iron ore mining project in the Chichester Range in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
As the country’s largest mining construction project, Roy Hill is home to the world-class, low-phosphorus Marra Mamba iron ore deposit, expected to sustain a mine life of more than 20 years. The mine also has the potential to produce 55 million tonnes a year and its first ore was mined at the end of April 2014, with exports expected to begin in 2015.
This project includes a mine, a mine process plant, a heavy haul railway system from mine to port and port facilities.
In one of the biggest ever contracts awarded to Energy Power Systems Australia (EPSA), the company was contracted to supply temporary power generation to the purpose-built Port Facility, which requires continuous and reliable power up to a maximum demand of 35 MW.
“EPSA supplied 30 Cat® XQ2000 power modules each containing a Cat 3516B diesel generator set installed in a 40-foot container. In addition, the integrated solution included 15 transformers, two 33 kV switchrooms and associated diesel fuel supply and reticulation systems utilized on site.
“We designed, constructed, connected and commissioned, the temporary power generation facility, which we will also own, operate and maintain for an initial two-year agreement, with options to extend thereafter up to 10 years,” says Bill Thomson, EPSA’s General Manager, Project Services. “The power station is temporary because the long-term intention is to connect the Port Facility with the North West Interconnected System grid.”
Thomson says EPSA’s ability to understand Roy Hill’s unique requirements and customize a purpose-designed facility for this demanding environment differentiated them from the competition.
“As a brand new facility, the surrounding area was extremely desolate, utilizing containerized generator sets was crucial to quickly deliver a reliable power supply to the site,” added Thomson.
“EPSA offers its customers both defined short term rental and long term generation capacity contracts with the ability to seamlessly convert it to a permanent installation. This flexibility ensures our customers can easily adjust to the most cost-effective and reliable power solution as business demands change,” said Thomson.
In March of 2014, EPSA’s cost synergies, history of customer satisfaction and impressive experience earned the contract for infrastructure development for the Port Facility power station.
The company then moved into the site in July and immediately involved 20 staff members, along with sub-contractors and trades. Generators were built in the U.S., shipped to Fremantle and on-transported to the site over 1,200 kilometres away. The first eight generators and four transformers were installed in October 2014 with the entire commissioning complete in April 2015.
This solution not only provided reliable power to the Port Facility, but did so in an extremely isolated region of Australia.
“There was no blueprint for power generation within the facility, and especially in this geographical landscape. This project was not without its challenges, yet Caterpillar and EPSA successfully delivered a flexible solution customised to Roy Hill’s unique requirements.” said Thomson.