Alternative power for a gold mine during the bitter Siberian winter
GV Gold, a gold mining operation in the Irkutsk region of Russia was looking to expand by opening the third mine. But getting power to a remote location in Siberia is no walk in the tundra. True, they could get some power from a nearby hydroelectric plant, but during the winter months, the dam overflow was increased to prevent the damn from freezing, which meant a lot less hydro-capacity downstream. GV Gold needed a partner who could handle the extreme conditions – both people and machines – and supply them with a reliable alternative source of power to cover the winter shortfall. Aggreko Eurasia initially installed a 5 MW ready-to-go power station for our client’s immediate needs. Then as winter approached and temperatures dropped to -40°C, we added an extra 7 MW. The total 12 MW of power was used during winter to cover the shortfall in hydropower and in summer as a backup and emergency supply. The ability to scale a package up or down according to seasonal demands is an attractive option for operators in remote locations. It allows them to finesse their fuel consumption all year round and save on fuel costs by accurately meeting supply with demand.
Because our equipment is designed for harsh and unfriendly conditions, it provided uninterrupted 24/7 power to the gold mine. It stood up to the freezing temperatures of a Siberian winter and the +30°C harshness of a Siberian summer. The work by Aggreko allowed GV Gold to decrease its reliance on patchy local hydropower and control its fuel consumption as and when needed. Their system was flexible enough that – if GV Gold went through another expansion – they could quickly and easily add to the 12 MW extra units they already had. Aggreko Eurasia used WingLift for the container handling in narrow spaces. They bought two extra units that were kept warm so a quick switch was possible when the oil got frozen in the Siberian winter.
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