JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The conversion of boiler houses and power plants to alternative fuels is expected to reduce the operating expenses of Russian miner Alrosa by about 5.3-billion roubles over the next ten years.
In an update on Monday, Alrosa said that it would build a gas boiler-house in Almazny settlement in the Mirny district of Yakutia and that it would modify the diesel power plant of Nyurba Mining and Processing Division to run on cheaper oil.
Alrosa has already completed the reconstruction of three boiler houses serving Nyurba, converting their boilers from diesel fuel to oil.
In Arylakh settlement of Mirny district, the company is using a newly built gas boiler house, rather than operating electric boilers, which has allowed it to reduce its electricity use by more than 40-million kWh.
Alrosa’s production performance improvement department, Igor Zherdev, said that the cost of diesel required to produce a unit of heat (gigacalorie), taking into account the remoteness of some of its operations, was more than double the cost of oil produced in Yakutia and about ten times more than the cost of natural gas.
The diamond miner has started a feasibility study investigating the gasification of facilities in Udachny Mining and Processing Division and Udachny town. The study contemplates the replacement of the generation resource (electrical heating) with cheaper natural gas.
Should the project be deemed feasible, it would be implemented between 2019 and 2021.