Technology saves a coal mine

2015-08-12 - Following floods in the Balkans in 2014, three companies created a solution to save one of Serbia’s main coal mines from destruction. The state-owned coal mining complex RB Kolubara is working to overhaul the Tamnava West coal mine in cooperation with system integrator MIKRO KONTROL and ABB, the global leader in power and automation technologies.

In May 2014, heavy rainfall filled the open-pit coal mine Tamnava with 187 million cubic meters of water. As coal is Serbia’s main energy source, quick action was vital to remove the water so that energy production could continue. RB Kolubara, a long-term partner of ABB in Serbia, drained the flooded mine and consulted with ABB about replacing and rebuilding flooded machinery and equipment. RB Kolubara also brought in the system integrator MIKRO KONTROL to install the equipment. The three partners developed new measures to reconstruct the equipment and install new ABB machines to replace the ones that had been flooded. “We have been working as one team since the beginning of the project,” says Radovan Maksimovic, coordinator of overhaul planning and electrical system maintenance at RB Kolubara.

ABB and RB Kolubara agreed to install the newest ABB equipment, which includes medium voltage switchgear, transformers, drives and low voltage motors. “The new high-efficiency LV motors reduce energy costs,” says Jovan Miladinovic, local division manager at ABB in Serbia.

Longstanding customer cooperation
The initiative was taken after 15 years of successful partnership between ABB and RB Kolubara. The new cutting-edge ABB drives are developed with advanced technological solutions that ensure more efficient operation, lower maintenance costs and reduced energy use. RB Kolubara is now operating with the new drives, which lower the cost and use of electric energy significantly by regulating the speed more efficiently than old equipment. The new drives are equipped with an efficient self-regulatory system that regulates customers’ energy use. With the new drives by ABB, customers will enjoy lower energy costs every year.

All ABB motors for this project in Serbia are approved according to the EU standards of IE2 efficiency low voltage. ABB’s advanced technology and equipment provide some of the best quality in the region, and the equipment is designed to operate in harsh environments in terms of temperature and humidity.

Cutting-edge technology
For the first time, RB Kolubara will be operating with 27 new motors based on cutting-edge technology with the highest standards on the market and in Serbia, provided by ABB Motors and Generators. The new technology will ensure an increase of efficient energy production and closer cooperation between long-term and new partners ABB, MIKRO KONTROL and RB Kolubara.

ABB provides its users with services in infrastructure and transportation to enhance living standards. ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, transport and infrastructure to customers to improve their performance while lowering their environmental impact. The ABB Group operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people.

ABB in Serbia
• Coal is the main energy source in Serbia
• ABB machines guarantee increased efficiency and service and lower energy costs
• The Tamnava coal mine in Serbia contributes to sustainable electricity generation in Serbia
• The Electric Power Industry of Serbia relies on ABB for technology and know-how
• ABB and the coal-mining complex RB Kolubara have had a long and successful cooperation
• ABB is a leading innovator of new technologies in Serbia

Text: Sanja Bjelica, Photos: RB Kolubara

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