Canadian Mining Journal


POWER: Wartsila technology to allow Saudi Arabia mine to use solar energy

Wartsila 32TS generating sets Credit: Wartsila

Wartsila 32TS generating sets Credit: Wartsila

SAUDI ARABIA – Technology group Wartsila will provide the engineering, equipment, and technical advice for a 44 MW power plant at the Mansourah & Massarah gold project in Saudi Arabia. It will be the first power project in the country utilizing a hybrid concept, with engine technology and solar energy.

The power plant will include six Wartsila 32 engines, with five in operation and one on constant stand-by. The built-in flexibility of the Wartsila engine technology, which allows full power output to be reached within minutes of being started, will allow the plant to efficiently utilize renewable solar energy. Renewably sourced energy, such as solar, requires the plant to respond rapidly to an inherently fluctuating supply.

“Maximizing the use of renewable energy is central to Wartsila’s approach to enabling sustainable energy supplies. We enhance this energy transition by optimizing energy systems for our customers, and have extensive experience in providing power for mining operations, so this project fits our capabilities perfectly,” Alexandre Eykerman, energy business director, Middle East, for Wartsila, said in a release.

The Wartsila equipment will be delivered within 10 months of contract signing. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned by May 2021, with commercial operations starting a year later.

The Mansourah & Massarah gold project is executed by Outotec and Larsen Toubro

The site is Saudi Arabian Mining Company’s (Ma’aden) largest gold project, estimated to produce an average of 250,000 oz. of gold per year over the life of the mine. The on-site processing plant will be capable of processing up to four million tonnes per year of complex refractory ores. The mine will be operated by Ma’aden Gold and Base Metals Company. 

More than 100 units of the Wartsila 32 engine are installed in Saudi Arabia, within 15 baseload power plants.

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