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GE Gas Power addresses the energy trilemma to foster a more sustainable energy transition in mining operations

6th July 2022

     

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Multinational industrial company General Electric (GE)  has been collaborating with energy stakeholders to deploy innovative technologies tailored to respond to the needs of the mining sector.

Energy intensive industries, such as the mining and minerals sector, are under pressure from governments, investors, and society to reduce carbon emissions even as demand for these minerals grow. With most industry players commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, it is crucial that the mining industry is very deliberate about how it meets the energy needs for its operations, and how it decarbonises.

Speaking to customers on the side-lines of this year’s Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town, South Africa, GE Gas Power executive Oluwatoyin Abegunde said: “The complementary strength of gas and renewables plays a critical role in delivering lower carbon and more reliable electrical power generation. As sub-Saharan Africa balances the need for more access to power, along with the push towards more sustainable energy sources, the accelerated and strategic deployment of renewables and gas power together can reduce carbon emissions quickly.”

The Investing in African Mining Indaba brings together mining companies, investors, government leaders, service providers, and thought leaders in the African mining ecosystem with the aim of driving innovation and collaboration for the sustainable development of African mining economies.

The global energy system is transforming at a scale and pace never experienced before and industrial players are under significant pressure to help ensure optimisation and sustainability of their electricity supply. 

“GE knows that the power sector serves as a model for other industries around the world. We believe that lower-carbon solutions, such as renewable energy supported by gas power, can contribute to a more decarbonised energy future. Their complementary nature offers tremendous potential to help cut carbon emissions with the speed and scale the world requires.”

GE has been collaborating with energy stakeholders to deploy innovative technologies tailored to respond to the needs of the mining sector. In Botswana, GE gas turbines are providing Orapa diamond mines’ 90 MW turbine power plant facility with reliable power, as well as supplementing the country’s energy needs. In Nigeria, GE’s gas turbine technology is supporting Dangote Cement, in Obajana, located in North Central Nigeria, to reduce unplanned downtime, improve operational efficiency and become energy self-sufficient.

“Adding renewables as quickly as Africa can afford to, while also switching significant coal or diesel generation to gas, will be required to help address climate change with the required pace and scale,” said Abegunde. 

“In Africa, where historically diesel and Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) have dominated the power generation landscape, GE’s technology offers a reliable, cost effective and sustainable pathway for reducing carbon emissions for industry players in the mining and metals, plastic, paper and pulp, and chemicals industries, among others.”

The mining industry is keenly focused on sustainability goals, and it is imperative that the power generation industry achieves that objective. That means, in part, lowering reliance on carbon-heavy fuels like coal, diesel and HFO.  As one of the world’s largest manufacturers and supplier of gas turbine technology, GE Gas Power offers a wide array of equipment options and models to help meet the most challenging energy requirements. Thermal hybrid solutions, for example, improve energy security, reliability and sustainability for captive power generation for industries, including mines.

Thermal hybrid applications, involving the interfaced operation of a thermal asset with a renewable and/or an energy storage asset, are expanding the possibilities of electricity generation. GE’s aeroderivative gas turbines are the ideal solution for mining operations as they are lightweight with a smaller footprint and with lower carbon emissions, high cycle elasticity and shorter downtime than competing technologies. Aeroderivative gas turbines can also be used in thermal hybrids for a variety of industrial applications like mining and metals.

GE has more than 125 years of experience integrating the latest innovations in electricity generation and delivery—and hybrid power technology is no exception. Its hybrid energy system portfolio, backed by the experts whose equipment generates about one-third of the electricity in the world, can be customised and scaled to help meet customer’s specific needs. Their wing-to-wing hybrid solutions range from upgrading and improving the capabilities of an existing facility to incorporating hybrid technologies into a new generation facility or transmission and distribution network.

Abegunde notes that GE is a leader in combustion technology. GE’s gas turbines can operate on a wide variety of gas and liquid fuels. Gaseous fuels include natural gas, liquefied natural gas, flare gases, lean methane, refinery gases, as well as ethane, propane, and other higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, i.e., natural gas liquids and liquid petroleum gas. Liquid fuels include diesel (also known as light distillate or diesel fuel oil, biodiesel, condensates, crude oils, and heavy/residual fuel oils).

GE Gas Power is a world leader in natural gas power technology, services, and solutions. Through relentless innovation and continuous collaborations with customers, GE is providing more advanced, cleaner, and efficient power that people depend on today and building the energy technologies of the future. With the world’s largest installed base of gas turbines and more than 600-million operating hours across GE’s installed fleet, it offers advanced technology and a level of experience that is unmatched in the industry to build, operate, and maintain leading gas power plants.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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