Tractafric Commissions 74.5MW Battery Storage System for Kibali Gold Mine
Image: Energy Storage News
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Kibali gold mine has received a 7.5MW battery storage system to accompany its 74.5MW micro-grid. Commissioned by French-based Tractafric, the system was developed in partnership with Caterpillar and Barrick Gold Corporation.
The new battery storage system, coupled with bi-directional power inverters, is expected to enhance grid stability by mitigating intermittency challenges associated with the seasonal-based hydropower that supplies the mine. In addition to reducing the annual consumption of diesel by an estimated 3 million liters a year – used to offset hydropower inconsistency – the new system will decrease carbon emissions by approximately 8,000 tons.
“This project required an exceptional collaborative effort between Caterpillar, Tractafric and the Kibali technical on-site team who had to make use of innovative remote technologies to commission the system during the COVID-19 pandemic. The result is continuous, reliable power for the Kibali mine generated at the lowest unit cost rate through maximum renewable energy penetration,” stated Rousseau Jooste, Chief Engineer for Africa and the Middle East for Barrick Gold Corporation.
“Improving the quality of power at a lower cost is a key business driver for customers,” said Mining Director and Group Sales Director at Tractafric Equipment – Energy & Transportation, Julien-Christian Chaumond.
Situated in Haut-Uele province in the DRC, the Kibali gold mine is considered one of the largest in Africa, with an estimated 808, 0000 oz. of gold produced from its open pit and underground operations in 2020. The recent battery storage installation will not only enhance operations at the mine through grid stability, but further emphasizes the commitments of service companies to reducing carbon emissions in the mining sector.
“The configuration of a power system featuring grid stabilizers illustrates how Caterpillar and the Cat dealer network offer a portfolio of the latest field-proven technologies combined with the expertise needed to help enterprises integrate sustainability into their operations,” stated Bart Myers, General Manager for Caterpillar Large Electric Power Solutions.
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