7.5 MW of battery storage for gold mine
By Jack Burke05 October 2021
System integrates hydroelectric power stations, 36 diesel generator sets
Barrick Gold Corp. and Caterpillar dealer Tractafric have installed 7.5 MW of battery energy storage capacity for the company’s microgrid at the Kibali gold mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Tractafric’s solution deploys the battery energy storage and Cat bi-directional power inverters (BDP) to provide grid stability, while the Cat Master Microgrid Controller is designed to seamlessly integrate up to 45 MW of power generated by three hydroelectric power stations and 36 Cat 3512 diesel generator sets. Barrick has also employed Cat Connect Remote Asset Monitoring for the real-time collection and off-site monitoring of performance data.
The Caterpillar grid stabilizer offsets the cyclical loading of the winding plant to reduce the spinning reserve requirement, which decreases annual diesel consumption by approximately 3 million l and the associated carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 8 kilotons, the companies said.
“This project required an exceptional collaborative effort between Caterpillar, Tractafric and the Kibali technical on-site team who had to make use of innovative remote technologies to commission the system during the COVID-19 pandemic. The result is continuous, reliable power for the Kibali mine generated at the lowest unit cost rate through maximum renewable energy penetration. We are investigating options to improve on this blend,” said Rousseau Jooste, chief engineer for Africa and the Middle East for Barrick Gold Corporation. “Barrick is committed to collaborating with host governments and local communities to transform natural resources into sustainable benefits for all stakeholders. We are particularly encouraged by our inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the past 13 consecutive years.”
Located in the DRC province of Haut-Uele, the Kibali mine is one of the largest gold mines in Africa. Barrick operates Kibali in a joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti and the Congolese parastatal SOKIMO. Commissioned in September 2013, Kibali produced 808 000 ounces of gold in 2020 from open pit and underground integrated mining operations.
“Improving the quality of power at a lower cost is a key business driver for customers,” said Julien-Christian Chaumond, mining director and group sales director for Tractafric Equipment- Energy & Transportation. “The configuration of a power system featuring grid stabilizers illustrates how the technical expertise of Tractafric Equipment and the advanced technology of Caterpillar deliver sustainable hybrid energy solutions that supply cleaner and more stable power to customers while reducing costs.”