16 August 2013 – Africa’s biggest copper mine, the Kansanshi mine in Zambia owned by First Quantum Minerals, has awarded a US$$32 million contract to ABB for the construction of a new substation and the upgrade of an existing one. 

The turnkey project encompasses design, engineering, supply and installation. Key product supplies include high- and medium-voltage air-insulated switchgear and power transformers. The substation will also be equipped with automation, control and protection systems conforming to international IEC 61850 standards, to enable local and remote monitoring and control the power assets.

ABB will also supply telecommunications systems and solar photovoltaic-powered repeater stations to facilitate reliable long-distance transmission of digital signals via fibre optic cables to a remote-end substation located some 400 kilometres away. The new substation will be a main node in the new 330 kV transmission ring linking the capital Lusaka and the Copperbelt area with two main supply transmission line systems and will help improve power quality in the Zambian network. The project is scheduled for completion by 2014.

Vancouver-based First Quantum Minerals currently operates seven mines. Its 2012 production included 307,115 tonnes of copper, 36,759 tonnes of nickel and 201,942 ounces of gold.