Designer and manufacturer of diesel and gas generator sets, hybrid generators, lighting towers and control panels Himoinsa Southern Africa is delivering solutions to power mines across Southern Africa, emphasising that its generators and lighting towers are robust and durable enough to provide reliable power even in the most challenging environments.
Himoinsa Southern Africa is supplying 2 MVA of power in a sound-attenuated 40 foot ,containerised unit to an engineering, procurement and construction mining contractor supporting the expansion of a zinc mine in South Africa.
The company is also commissioning 2 MW in Namibia to support the critical processes of a major copper mine operating under harsh conditions.
Himoinsa generators have to date shown resilience in harsh conditions. Its generator sets and lighting towers are currently operating in Tavan Tolgoi, a coal deposit located in southern Mongolia, where extreme changes in temperature, ranging from -40 °C in winter to over 35 °C in summer, require the use of robust, durable and high-quality equipment.
Located south of the Gobi desert, in the province of Ömnögovi, Tavan Tolgoi is a large coal mine that was discovered in 1945 and exploration studies went on until 1985. After being run by State-owned and private companies, principal investment firm Erdenes assigned management of the extraction work to State-owned company Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi in 2010.
According to Himoinsa, Tavan Tolgoi has 6.4-billion tons of high-quality coal and is divided into six sections. Himoinsa’s distributor in Mongolia since 2011, Unitra, was chosen to supply generator sets and lighting towers, after a tender process in which the leading international manufacturers of generators and lighting towers participated. At present, five Himoinsa Apolo Start 4006 lighting towers and a T5 HFW250 soundproof generator set are in operation in several of the six sections of the extraction site.
Technical Specifications of Equipment
The harsh environmental conditions of the Ömnögovi area meant the company had to choose durable and reliable equipment.
The Himoinsa HFW250 generator is equipped with a preheater system for the engine's water circuit, allowing the generator to start in freezing conditions. As a result, the generator set running on a standby application is guaranteed to start promptly, even at -40 ºC, as Himoinsa offers configurations to prevent engine fluids from freezing.
As an emergency generator set, Himoinsa HFW250 is able to deliver the rated power within ten seconds from utility failure. Further, it has a high level of sound insulation. All Himoinsa canopies have an internal coating of rockwool, an insulation material with “excellent acoustic and thermal properties”, says the company. Another reason why the Himoinsa generator set has been well received in the mining sector is the epoxy polyester powder finish, a chemical treatment to prevent corrosion, which is common in harsh environments.
The atmosphere at Tavan Tolgoi is dry and dusty. In addition to constant strong winds, there is a risk of operating equipment becoming damaged. The AS4006 lighting tower is designed to withstand ambient temperatures ranging from -20 °C to 45°C. With a manually extendible mast, which reaches a height of 9 m, it can illuminate up to 32 000 m2.
The technical managers for the project have confirmed that the Himoinsa lighting towers are running every night during the summer and generate light 24 hours a day during winter, since there are few daylight hours and artificial light is needed. “These lighting towers can operate nonstop for up to 70 hours, and go more than seven nights without refuelling," explains Himoinsa’s engineering manager Manuel Sánchez Bada.
The 9-m-high mast folds down manually and horizontally for optimal and easy transport, “a feature which is highly valued by project managers in the mining sector, as the equipment is regularly moved from one place to another on site, depending on the extraction periods”, says Himoinsa Mongolia regional sales manager Fred Shen. “The fact that the equipment is designed to be easily transportable helps optimise working times and improve productivity.”