Guinea’s largest gold mine invests in new environment-friendly power plant
Internationally diversified gold producer Nordgold Group has signed an engineering, procurement and construction agreement to design and construct a 33 MW power plant at its Lefa mine – one of the largest gold mines in Guinea.
The agreement is with China’s manufacturing service group SUMEC, a key member of China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH).
The new heavy fuel oil (HFO) power plant will replace the existing facility, in turn reducing both fuel consumption for electricity production by 15% and engine oil by 30%.
This will result in a 17 000 t reduction of greenhouse gas emissions per year, which is in line with Nordgold’s climate change objectives as well as its commitments to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipbuilding company and leading manufacture of heavy industry machinery, is providing the power plant’s main generating equipment. The power plant will enable a significant reduction in operating costs, in addition to enhancing the stability of the electricity supply for over 15 years Lefa’s life of mine.
Moreover, the installation of the latest fire detection systems will increase employee safety.
The design and construction of the project is expected to cost approximately US$23 million, with the power plant expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
During construction, hundreds of additional jobs will be created and main essential construction materials including sand, cement, gravel amongst others will be sourced locally from Guinean suppliers.
“Even during these challenging times, we remain committed to investing in Guinea. The new power plant is an important investment as it enables us to both decrease greenhouse gas emissions and provide sustainable power generation for our Lefa mine,” says Nikolai Zelenski, CEO of Nordgold.
“Nordgold acquired the Lefa mine in 2010. Since then, the company has invested more than US$1 billion into the country, thereby maintaining its position as one of Guinea’s leading gold producers.”
“From 2011 to 2019, Nordgold paid Guinea c. US$200 million in corporate taxes and royalties and Lefa provides direct employment to nearly 1 200 employees, as well as over 1 000 indirect jobs.”
“The Lefa mine has also invested significantly to improve the provision of local health and education services, including the deployment of new medical facilities and construction of 40 schools.”