Zest WEG will supply a range of electrical and energy solutions to assist in Ivanhoe Mines’ refurbishment of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ivanhoe Mines acquired its 68% interest in the Kipushi Project in November 2011; the balance of 32% is held by the DRC's state-owned mining company, Gécamines.
The company says it will supply a 14 MW power plant, motor control centres (MCCs), WEG medium voltage (MV) variable speed drives (VSDs) and a WEG 1200 kW MV motor for the mine’s ball mill. The company is also the preferred supplier of low voltage (LV) WEG IE3 motors which it will supply to OEMs servicing the mine. Delivery of the equipment is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2023.
“Our diesel-powered plant, which will provide the mine with backup energy, has been designed to comprise 12 generator sets – each rated at 1587 kVA and 400 V,” says Luveshen Naidoo, the firm’s business development external sales engineer for mining and industrial. “Assembled at Zest WEG’s specialised Cape Town facility, the plant includes MV switchgear, six 3150 kVA ONAN type 400 V / 6,6 kV step-up transformers, a 40 000 litre fuel tank and an automated fuel system”
The MCCs are being supplied for use in an established substation on the Kipushi Zinc-Copper mine, as well as for a containerised substation elsewhere on the site. To accommodate space constraints, the MCCs are designed for a back-to-back configuration with a compact bucket size, he explains. “This ensures that the equipment will fit in the available space while still meeting the client’s specification and stringent IEC standards,” he says.
For the mine’s SAG mill, the company will provide the WEG W60 MV motor rated at 1200 kW. The reduced motor weight offers distinct benefits, including a compact plinth onto which it is mounted – and lower installation costs. The motor’s IP55 rating ensures the motor is well protected from dust or water ingress. WEG’s MVW3000 MV VSD, which has an integral dry-type transformer, will be supplied to drive the ball mill motor, unit is being supplied. Heat dissipation will be achieved by a custom designed ducting system, thereby reducing the need for cooling at the substation. The company’s ISO9001 quality management systems underpin the high-quality standards in all its products, and the company is audited annually to maintain this compliance.