ABB Australia have announced that they won orders worth $60 million for power projects to help the international mining group, Rio Tinto, to increase capacity at their iron-ore mines in the Pilbara region of north-west Western Australia.
ABB Australia will supply turnkey, high-voltage substations to enable Rio Tinto to increase annual production from 163 million tonnes of iron ore to 220 million tonnes. The projects were awarded under a preferred supplier frame agreement recently signed between ABB Australia and Rio Tinto which covers electrification relating to Rio Tinto’s power systems upgrade in the Pilbara region.
The projects are for the turnkey construction of a 220-kilovolt (kV) switching station at the Seven Mile power station and a 220/33kV bulk supply substation at Cape Lambert. These are the first of eight projects to be awarded by Rio Tinto in connection with their power systems upgrade in the Pilbara region.
The current order includes all design, equipment, civil and electrical works, and project management. The installations are expected to be operational by the end of 2009. ABB Australia will also supply power transformers, instrumentation transformers, disconnectors and a range of high and medium voltage switchgear.
Since 2003, Rio Tinto have committed about $7 billion to upgrading port, rail, power and mine assets in the Pilbara region to increase capacity and capitalize on strong international demand.