ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth around $30 million for a substation that will increase power supply so that Rio Tinto can expand iron ore mining at Hope Downs mines in the Pilbara region. The order was booked in the first quarter.
The turnkey project includes the design, supply, installation and commissioning of a new 220/33 kilovolt (kV) substation that will provide power to the new Hope Downs-4 mine. The order includes civil and electrical works as well as the supply of power transformers, instrumentation transformers, disconnectors and a range of high- and medium-voltage air-insulated switchgear. Substation automation systems compliant with the IEC 61850 global standard will be supplied and equipped with the company’s latest generation of protection and control products. The substation will also feature 11 kV reactors and capacitor banks, which will help to reduce electric losses and improve network stability. The project is scheduled for completion by mid 2012.
“Reliability, efficiency and quality of power supply are critical to ensure productivity in mining operations, and this new substation will help to meet Rio Tinto's additional electricity needs and support the company's expansion plans,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division.
The existing 220 kV substation was also constructed by ABB and has been supplying reliable power to the Hope Downs-1 mine for more than five years. This is the 13th substation installation that ABB has supplied since 2005 in the Pilbara region - a large, dry, thinly populated area in Western Australia known for its vast mineral deposits, in particular iron ore.
The two substations are located in south eastern Pilbara and will supply electricity supporting an annual iron ore production capacity of 15 million tons at the new Hope Downs-4 mine. They will also support mine dewatering, an open cut shovel, wet ore processing infrastructure and power a staff village of more than 600 personnel.
Rio Tinto is a global leader in the exploration, mining and processing of minerals and metals, including aluminum, copper, diamonds, energy products, gold, industrial minerals and iron ore.
ABB (abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 124,000 people.