The technology group Wärtsilä will upgrade the performance of a captive power plant supplying electricity to a Nevada Gold Mines mining operation in the USA. The customised lifecycle upgrade is estimated to increase the facility’s power output on each generating set by 8%, support operational reliability, and ensure its availability during peak periods. Furthermore, it will avoid de-rating in almost all situations caused by the severe ambient conditions at the plant’s high-altitude location in the hot Nevada desert. The order was placed by Nevada Gold Mines LLC and booked in Wärtsilä’s order intake in Q2, 2022.
The upgrade includes the installation of Wärtsilä’s UNIC engine control system, a durable, all-inclusive automation system designed to provide reliable performance in demanding environments. This, together with the added power output, will minimise the risk of outages during the three-month long peak summer season. The upgrade will also increase efficiency and allow less constant operation of the engines, which in turn will lower emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
“By increasing the load during the peak season, we can increase our operational flexibility since at times we can have one engine on hot standby, instead of running more engines on part load. This will reduce carbon emissions while also generating some cost savings. We appreciate Wärtsilä’s professional approach and support in analysing our situation and recommending the actions needed by both our O&M provider, PIC Group and Wärtsilä,” said John Seeliger, Regional Energy Manager for Nevada Gold Mines.
“Our lifecycle support includes important upgrade projects, such as this one. Wärtsilä has the capability and experience to apply the latest technologies to extend and modify the power plant’s life and performance in line with the customer’s evolving needs,” commented Jon Rodriguez, Director, Engine Power Plants, North America, Wärtsilä Energy.
The plant operates with 14 Wärtsilä 34SG gas engines. It was originally installed in 2005 with a net output of 115.6 MW. Upon completion of the upgrade, the facility output will be increased to 128 MW. The upgrade will commence in January 2023 and will be carried out in phases to coincide with the plant’s major overhaul schedule. In this way, power production can be maintained to minimise the impact to the mine’s operations.
Nevada Gold Mines is a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corporation, who operates the mine, and Newmont Corporation that combined their significant assets across Nevada in 2019 to create the single largest gold producing complex in the world. Both Barrick and Newmont are established Wärtsilä customers with plants in various parts of the world operating with Wärtsilä engines.
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Wärtsilä Energy in brief
Wärtsilä Energy leads the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers in decarbonisation by developing market-leading technologies. These cover future-fuel enabled balancing power plants, hybrid solutions, energy storage and optimisation technology, including the GEMS energy management platform. Wärtsilä Energy’s lifecycle services are designed to increase efficiency, promote reliability and guarantee operational performance. Our track record comprises 76 GW of power plant capacity and 110 energy storage systems delivered to 180 countries around the world.
Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in innovative technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. We emphasise innovation in sustainable technology and services to help our customers continuously improve their environmental and economic performance. Our dedicated and passionate team of 17,000 professionals in more than 200 locations in 68 countries shape the decarbonisation transformation of our industries across the globe. In 2021, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 4.8 billion. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.