Wärtsilä power for QMM Madagascar mining project

Wartsila Corporation
  • Trade press release
8 November 2006 at 2:01 AM E. Europe Standard Time

Wärtsilä Corporation Press release, Trade & Technical Press 8 November, 2006

Wärtsilä Corporation was awarded a turnkey contract in September 2006 to deliver a 20 MWe power plant for the QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM) ilmenite mineral sands project at Fort Dauphin in south-east Madagascar. The power plant is due to be operational in April 2008.

The new power plant will include five Wärtsilä nine-cylinder type 32 diesel generating sets. The plant building will also have space for a sixth generating set. The plant will supply electricity for the ilmenite mineral sands project including the dredging barge, process plant, village and port. An Operation and Maintenance agreement is also under negotiation.

The generating sets will have full waste heat recovery to generate steam for use in a drying process in the mine plant. The electrical system to be supplied by the plant is isolated from other power supplies.

An important feature of the order contract is that the client intends awarding the operation and maintenance of the power plant to Wärtsilä. Wärtsilä will thus provide a “one-stop shop” solution, combining both turnkey delivery of the complete power plant and responsibility for operation and maintenance.  After building the power plant, Wärtsilä would be responsible for all aspects of its operation, including hiring personnel, transfer of skills and maintaining the power plant

The Fort Dauphin power plant presents some interesting challenges owing to its very remote location. Transport of equipment to the site is a particular challenge. As with many mine or oil and gas projects today, the customer is particularly demanding in terms of health, safety and environmental requirements. However Wärtsilä is able to ensure full confidence and trust in such respects through the company’s broad experience in turnkey contracts in many difficult localities around the world.

Ilmenite is an iron titanium oxide that is used as a raw material for titanium dioxide pigment used as an extremely white base in paint. With a grade of 60% titanium dioxide, the Fort Dauphin ore body in Madagascar is the world’s largest known, undeveloped high-grade ilmenite deposit. It has an expected mine life of 40 years. The mine plant will produce high-quality chloride slag with a content of 91% titanium dioxide.

The Fort Dauphin project is operated by QIT Madagascar Minerals, in which an agency of the Government of Madagascar has a 20% interest. Managed by the Anglo-Australian mineral resources company Rio Tinto Iron, QMM was formed to evaluate large mineral sand deposits in the south east of Madagascar.

First production from the Fort Dauphin project is expected in late 2008 and the initial capacity will be 750,000 tonnes per year of ilmenite.


Wärtsilä in brief

Wärtsilä enhances the business of its customers by providing them with complete lifecycle power solutions. When creating better and environmentally compatible technologies, Wärtsilä focuses on the marine and energy markets with products and solutions as well as services. Through innovative products and services, Wärtsilä sets out to be the most valued business partner of all its customers. This is achieved by the dedication of more than 13,000 professionals manning 130 Wärtsilä locations in close to 70 countries around the world.


For further information, please contact:
Maria Nystrand
Public Relations Manager, Power Plants
Wärtsilä Corporation
Direct tel:          +358 10 709 1456
Direct fax:         +358 10 709 1425
e-mail:  maria.nystrand@wartsila.com
Internet:            www.wartsila.com