Powering the search for gold

2012-11-12 - ABB has been selected by one of the world’s leading gold producers, Goldcorp Canada Ltd, to improve the reliability of power supplies to its Musselwhite Mine in northern Ontario, 600 km north of Thunder Bay. Since start up in 1997, Musselwhite Mine has produced over 3 million ounces of gold.

By ABB Communications

ABB will design, supply and commission two 30 MVAr (megavolt ampere reactive) replacement SVCs (static var compensators) to fortify the weak transmission feed and facilitate efficient and reliable start-up of the mine after any grid outages. The industrial project is the latest in a series of FACTS orders from the mining sector won by ABB around the world including countries like Sweden, USA, Peru, Australia, and Mongolia.

Safe, secure and reliable supply of quality power to mining complexes is of paramount importance to handle diverse loads such as mine hoists, mills, crushers, conveyors etc. and mining operations are also sensitive to dips and fluctuations of the feed-in voltage. In addition to availability and reliability needs, production outages can be very expensive.

“This environmentally friendly solution will help enhance grid reliability and improve availability and security of power supply to the mining complex,” said Ingela Hålling, head of ABB’s FACTS business, and a part of the company’s Power Systems division.

Increasing demand for minerals and metals is driving the growth of the mining industry around the world. Mining complexes are often located in remote areas with weak or inadequate power supply networks. Rough and difficult to access terrain, makes it difficult to construct overhead lines and robust power infrastructure.

SVCs are part of ABB’s family of FACTS technologies, which enhance the capacity, security and flexibility of power transmission and distribution systems, and contribute to the development of smarter grids.

Goldcorp, a Canadian company is one of the world’s leading gold producers, with widespread operations and development projects across the Americas employing more than 12,000 people worldwide.

FACTS technologies allow more power to reach consumers with minimal environmental impact, lower investment costs and shorter implementation times than traditional alternatives such as building new transmission lines. They also help address voltage stability issues and enable the transmission system to run more efficiently. ABB is a global leader in the growing field of FACTS, and has delivered more than 700 such installations across the world.

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