HomeIndustry SectorsFuture EnergySyama Gold Mine to reduce power bill by 40% through hybrid system

Syama Gold Mine to reduce power bill by 40% through hybrid system

Resolute Mining has announced its partnership with power generation provider Aggreko for the development of a new hybrid modular power station at the company’s Syama Gold Mine in Mali.

In a company statement, Resolute noted that the new hybrid modular power station will deliver cost-effective, environmentally friendly, capital-efficient power and long-term electricity cost savings of up to 40% (relative to Syama’s existing power supply) while reducing carbon emissions by approximately 20%.

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The plant will combine solar, battery and thermal generation technologies in one integrated power solution ensuring optimal efficiency, reduced energy costs, and positive environmental outcomes. Work will commence in the current quarter, and once fully operational in December 2020, the new power plant is expected to reduce Syama’s power costs by approximately 40%.

The proposed timeline and associated power-saving outcomes are consistent with the assumptions contained in the Syama Definitive Feasibility Study Update (see ASX Announcement dated 3 July 2019).

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Managing Director and CEO, John Welborn, was pleased that the company had secured an innovative low-cost power solution for Syama: “Identifying and adopting world-class technologies to improve our operations is fundamental to achieving Resolute’s ambitions.

“[…]The new Syama hybrid power solution will lower our power costs at Syama by approximately 40% while significantly reducing our carbon emissions.[…]”

Source: Resolute Mining

The new plant will be delivered in two stages

Stage 1 is expected to be completed in 2020 and will comprise the installation of three new thermal energy Modular Block generators and a battery storage system.

The new Modular Block units will be fuelled using refined heavy fuel oil (IFO 180) and will be installed alongside the existing Syama thermal power plant to allow a seamless transition to the new solution.

Replacing existing diesel thermal generation at Syama with modern intermediate fuel oil thermal generation is expected to increase efficiency by approximately 30%.

The new Modular Block units will provide 30MW of power and will incorporate an additional 10MW Ycube battery storage system. The battery will provide spinning reserve displacement.

Stage 2 will consist of the installation of an additional 10MW Modular Block in 2022 and the construction of a 20MW solar power system.

Once the solar power system is installed, the 10MW battery storage system will also manage the solar power contribution to the power system and smooth out fluctuations in solar power output to facilitate integration into the hybrid system.

The solar array is planned to be constructed on the surface of the existing Syama Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) thereby maximising positive environmental outcomes and augmenting Resolute’s rehabilitation programme.

The timeline on commencement of stage 2 will depend on the decommissioning of the existing TSF and is expected to be completed, at the latest, by 2023.

The site infrastructure layout of the new hybrid power plant will include space to accommodate an additional four 10MW Modular Block units, enabling the mine to add additional power capacity if needed to support future growth.

Hybrid Systems is a key topic set for discussion at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa conference. Click here to register to attend and to find out more about the event.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.