Caterpillar to build solar power plant for B2Gold Otjikoto mine in Namibia
Caterpillar has announced that B2Gold Corp., one of the fastest-growing gold producers in the world, has selected the company and Cat® dealer Barloworld to supply 7 MW of solar power at the Otjikoto Mine in the Republic of Namibia.
The full system, including Cat photovoltaic (PV) solar modules and the Cat microgrid master controller (MMC), will be used to reduce reliance on a heavy fuel oil (HFO) power plant currently used to power the mining facility. Barloworld is supplying engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. Installation of the system is underway, with the completion of the project expected in early 2018.
“At B2Gold, we embrace environmental stewardship and social responsibility as key corporate priorities in doing business,” said Mark Dawe, Managing Director and Country Manager for B2Gold Namibia. “As one of the largest solar installations in Namibia, the facility at the Otjikoto Mine will help us to leverage a plentiful, renewable resource while improving the quality of life for nearby communities.”
Advanced Solar Technology from Caterpillar
Caterpillar’s solar PV system is powered by advanced thin-film solar modules that are setting the industry benchmark with improved performance over conventional silicon solar panels. Fully scalable and pre-engineered for quick and easy installation, the system offers reliable and predictable energy in all climates and applications with modules that are independently tested to pass accelerated life and stress tests beyond industry standards.
Caterpillar’s solar PV offering is a key component of the Cat Microgrid technology suite, an innovative lineup of power systems that adds environmentally friendly solar panels, state-of-the-art energy storage, and advanced monitoring and control systems to Caterpillar’s traditional line of reliable power generation equipment, including HFO, natural gas and diesel generator sets, switchgear and automatic transfer switches. The Cat Microgrid technology suite is designed to reduce fuel expenses, lower utility bills, decrease emissions, and reduce the total cost of ownership while increasing energy efficiency in even the most challenging environments.
A key differentiator in Caterpillar’s offering is the Cat MMC, which keeps loads continuously energized with high-quality power at the lowest cost. It manages the flow of power from every source in the system, including the main grid when connected. The Cat MMC determines optimum recharge times for the energy storage systems while managing power during times when solar energy is not available.
The MMC also uses Cat Connect technology for real-time collection and communication of on-site performance data that can be monitored and analyzed remotely.
“The economic viability of remote mining operations depends on the cost-efficient generation of power,” said Tom Frake, vice president of the Global Power Solutions Division for Caterpillar. “Caterpillar’s solar technologies provide a scalable, sustainable power solution that significantly reduces fuel consumption while delivering the reliable power needed to support mining sites.”
B2Gold’s Otjikoto Mine is located in the region of Otjozondjupa approximately 190 miles (300 km) north of the capital city of Windhoek. The mine reported a record year in 2016, producing 166,285 ounces of gold. Caterpillar supplied the original 25 MW of power capacity to the Otjikoto Mine when it opened in 2014 through four Cat 12CM32 HFO medium-speed engines and three Cat 3516B high-speed generator sets.
“For many years, B2Gold has relied on dependable, high-performing Cat equipment for both power solutions and mining operations at the company’s mining sites around the world, which is why executives again selected Caterpillar and Cat dealer Barloworld to help reduce operational costs while improving the sustainability profile at the Otjikoto Mine,” said Jean Savage, vice president of Surface Mining and Technology for Caterpillar.
Caterpillar is a leader in the power generation marketplace with power systems engineered to deliver unmatched durability, reliability and value. The company offers worldwide product support, with parts and service available globally through the Cat authorized service and dealer network. In addition, dealer service technicians are trained to service every aspect of Cat equipment.
For more information, visit www.cat.com/powergeneration or e-mail [email protected]. To interact with other power generation professionals in our online community, register at http://forums.cat.com/powerperspectives.
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About B2Gold Corp.
Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, B2Gold Corp. is one of the fastest-growing intermediate gold producers in the world. Founded in 2007, today, the company has four operating mines, one mine under construction, and numerous exploration projects in various countries, including Nicaragua, the Philippines, Namibia, Mali, Burkina Faso and Finland. Construction of the company’s Fekola Mine in southwest Mali is approximately three months ahead of schedule and on budget, and is projected to commence production on October 1, 2017. As a result, the company is well positioned to maintain its low-cost structure and growth profile.
Looking forward to 2018, with the planned first full-year of production from the Fekola Project (based on current assumptions and updates to the Company’s long-term mine plans), the Company is projecting its consolidated gold production to increase significantly by approximately 65 percent (from 2016) and to be between 900,000 and 950,000 ounces
About Barloworld Power
A Cat dealer since 1927, Barloworld Power is strategically positioned to meet a broad range of energy and commercial engine solutions in the southern African market with commercial offerings that include mining and construction equipment, marine propulsion and locomotive engines.
Barloworld Power offers rental, new or used generator set packages ranging from 4 kW to 16 MW, while the company’s in-house engineering team specializes in designing and building power stations with capabilities up to around 90 MW. Visit www.barloworldpower.com.
For more than 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets. With 2016 sales and revenues of $38.537 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three product segments – Construction Industries, Resource Industries and Energy & Transportation – and also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment. For more information, visit caterpillar.com. To connect with us on social media, visit caterpillar.com/social-media.