In a geo-hub of the ancient semi-arid Murchison region of Western Australia is Mount Magnet. As the state’s longest continuous gold mining centre dating back to 1891, Mount Magnet is home to the famous Hill 50 – Australia’s deepest (and, for a time, richest) underground gold mine.
The Western Australian Government announced in April 2014 that Mount Magnet was earmarked for one of six new power stations being commissioned in the state’s mid-west. This followed the announcement of a new power purchase agreement for the supply of electricity to the region.
The region’s utility provider, Horizon Power, subsequently engaged Contract Power Group (CPG) for a 10-year tenure to build and run one gas-fired and five diesel-fuelled power stations to supply electricity to all six locations, including Mount Magnet. EPSA was engaged by CPG to supply five 400 ekW continuous gas power modules, based on the Cat® CG132-08. CPG had very specific requirements – the packages needed to be fully integrated and ready to deploy with minimal on-site installation, but fitted to ensure they included industry-leading access for both operation and maintenance.
The first two units arrived in EPSA’s Perth workshop in February 2016 with the remainder following in March. Commissioning is expected to take place during May/June.
EPSA Engineer, Tarek Shalaby said: “This project represents a fantastic opportunity to take EPSA’s relationship with CPG to another level, working in partnership to deliver a high-quality product that we can both be very proud of.
“Our Engine Sales team worked very closely with the CPG Operations team during the design and development phase to clearly understand their specific needs.
“In addition, with this being the first CG132-08-based power module, we wanted to ensure that the solution could be used as a common platform for all future CG132 and CG170-based packages,” added Tarek.
“It was very important to get the design right and to invest the necessary time and effort into designing a solution that was both flexible and versatile.”
Surrounding Mount Magnet are remnants of old mining operations and significant Aboriginal sites that are being preserved. In addition to current mining operations, Mount Magnet is primarily a service town for the surrounding pastoral district, which supports very large sheep stations. It’s also famous for the Indigenous art of the Wirnda Barna Art Centre and its geography; from the wildflowers that blanket the region between July and October to the spectacular escarpment known as The Granites.