Prime Power: Power Station

The Client: Rio Tinto’s Seven Mile Power Station

Fuel efficiency, reliable product and support in harsh operating conditions. Providing prime power generation for: mine site building huts, water pumps and ancillary equipment such as welding equipment.

The Background

ABB Australia recently announced that they had won orders worth $60 million for power projects to help the international mining group, Rio Tinto, to increase capacity at their iron-ore mines in the Pilbara region of north-west Western Australia.

The projects are for the turnkey construction of a 220 kilovolt switching station at the Seven Mile power station and a 220 kilovolt bulk supply station at Cape Lambert, and are the first of eight projects to be awarded by Rio Tinto.

According to Saju Pothen, ABB Australia’s Project Engineer on the switching station, before work could commence on the new project they had to arrange for reliable temporary power, so they turned to Energy Power Systems Australia.

The Requirement

“Our initial requirement was for a prime power generator to power a range of site amenities that included a number of building huts, water pumps and ancillary equipment such as welding equipment.

“ABB Australia has had extensive experience with Energy Power Systems Australia and their range of Olympian generator sets, the most recent being at Rio Tinto’s Brockman mine in the Pilbara.

“The feedback on the Olympian generator sets has been positive, all providing a good standard of performance and reliability, so we were very comfortable to specify another one.

“From our point of view, fuel efficiency, price, product support and reliability in harsh operating conditions were
essential prerequisites – and in these areas Olympian generator sets have proven themselves time and time

The Solution

“We briefed Cameron Sharp at Energy Power Systems Australia (EPSA) on our requirements and he came back with a number of recommendations based around the 50 kVA Olympian GEP50-5, which included a number of packaged and unpackaged options.

“Cameron’s price was right and EPSA could deliver within our required timeframe, which was tight, so we went with the GEP50-5 that included a weatherproof enclosure complete with a self contained fuel tank in the base frame.

The Results

“EPSA arranged all the engineering and then the subsequent shipment to the Seven Mile power station where the technicians from the local WesTrac branch performed the installation and commissioning – which is another tremendous strength of dealing with EPSA as they’ve got access to support throughout the country through the Australia-wide Cat dealer network.

“The Olympian was installed and commissioned in January and the feedback received so far has been very positive with no problems encountered.

“From my point of view it’s important when working on projects like this that can be thousands of kilometres away to deal with suppliers who perform.

“And that’s exactly what Cameron and the EPSA team did, keeping us up-to-date throughout the project with
progress, while meeting every agreed deadline,” Saju said.

Commenting on the Seven Mile power station project Energy Power Systems Australia’s Olympian National Business Manager, Kim Howlett, said that EPSA’s association with the Caterpillar dealer network was proving to be an influential factor with many customers, as it provided the continuity of service and support that other generator suppliers just can’t match.

“The Olympian range of generating sets provide reliable energy solutions for all applications, and Olympian’s industry leading exhaust and noise emission levels make them the preferred choice for many environmentally conscious operators.

“Olympian generator sets feature innovative and robust designs which have led to the brand being recognised for reliability and dependability worldwide.

Designed, engineered and manufactured for optimal performance at Caterpillar’s ISO 9001 certified facility in the UK, Olympian generator sets represent a lower entry level product range that still boasts CAT’s legendary performance with exceptional fuel efficiency and proven performance for standby and prime power applications up to 550 kVA.

“Available for use with diesel fuel, propane, or natural gas, Olympian generator sets deliver dependable, clean economical power even in the most demanding conditions and can be configured to meet the needs of any application.

“And before Olympian generating sets go to work in the field they are put through a rigorous testing process, with all major components tested individually, then the entire units are tested for safety and operation at 100% of rated load – ensuring optimum performance every time,” Kim said.