Rolls-Royce wins Trent 60 contract to power Nickel mine in New Caledonia

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Two Rolls-Royce Trent 60 electrical generating sets have been selected to provide power for a new nickel mine in the North Province of New Caledonia in the South Pacific.

The $3.8 billion project at Koniambo, a new long-life, low-cost, open mine, will be capable of producing 60,000 tons of ferronickel a year after the first ore is processed, which is expected in the first half of 2011.

Koniambo Nickel SAS, a joint venture owned by Xstrata Nickel and Société Minière du Sud Pacifique (“SMSP”), have selected two Trent Wet Low Emissions (WLE) dual fuel gas turbine units, which will each provide up to 46MW of electrical power to supplement two135MW steam turbine sets. The Trents are expected to provide power for the next 25 years.

Charlie Athanasia, Vice-President of Power Generation for the Rolls-Royce Energy business said: "The Trent is the most powerful aero derivative gas turbine available for power generation. Its ability to meet wide load variations makes it the ideal choice for this mining application. This is our third contract for the Pacific region to provide power equipment for the mining industry".

Previous orders have come from Babcock and Brown Power (previously Alinta Energy) for generating sets to be installed at a remote iron ore mine in Western Australia and at a power station site in Tasmania.

The Trent 60 engines will be manufactured at the Rolls-Royce plant in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and packaging of the generating sets will take place at the Company’s Mount Vernon, Ohio facility. Delivery of both units is scheduled for the third quarter of 2009, with the first electricity being produced during the third quarter of 2010.

  1. Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy. It has energy customers in nearly 120 countries.
  2. New Caledonia is a French colonial island in the Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and north west of New Zealand. The Koniambo mine is located near the North Province capital of Kone in New Caledonia, 15 kilometres from the coast.
  3. Xstrata Nickel, one of Xstrata Group’s global commodity businesses, is the world’s fourth largest nickel producer, with annual managed production of more than 116,000 tonnes of refined nickel. They are headquartered in Toronto, Canada and have mining facilities in Canada, Dominican Republic, Australia and Norway in addition to projects in New Caledonia, Tanzania and Brazil.
  4. Société Minière du Sud Pacifique (SMSP) is the largest exporter of nickel laterite ore from New Caledonia, ranking as the world’s largest ore supplier. SMSP also holds 51 per cent shares in a processing plant in partnership with POSCO in South Korea with a nominal capacity of 30 000 tons of nickel metal contained in ferronickel. SMSP is majority owned (87 per cent) by Société de Financement et d’Investissement de la Province Nord, (SOFINOR), a semi-public company controlled by the North Province of New Caledonia.
  5. Over 50 Rolls-Royce industrial gas turbines, including the Avon, 501, Olympus and RB211, have been delivered to operators in Australia to provide power for installations such as hospitals in Melbourne, Dandenong and Alfred, tyre factories, newsprint mills, mining companies and offshore oil and gas platforms.
  6. Rolls-Royce has played an important role in the development of Australasia’s civil aviation, defence and marine industries for more than 85 years.
  7. Flagship airlines Qantas and Air New Zealand are important customers in the region. Qantas operates Rolls-Royce powered Boeing 747s, 767s, 717s and Rolls-Royce partnership IAE V2500 engines on its A320 Jetstar fleet. Qantas is one of the first customers in the region to operate the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 powered A380. The first of 20 aircraft on order was delivered in September this year.
  8. Rolls-Royce engines have powered RAAF aircraft since the service’s formation in 1921. Today more than half of the installed engines in both the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces are from Rolls-Royce.
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