Home > ABB to supply gearless conveyor drives for major Chilean underground copper mine

ABB to supply gearless conveyor drives for major Chilean underground copper mine

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World-leading power and automation technology group, ABB will supply the electrical equipment including new gearless conveyor drives for Codelco’s largest operation in Chile.

The contract was awarded by Tenova TAKRAF from Leipzig in December 2012. TAKRAF is the main contracting party for the conveyor system and ABB’s partner for development of the gearless conveyor drive technology. ABB won the contract based on its expertise in gearless drive technology and its cooperation agreement with Tenova TAKRAF. The close collaboration with Codelco during the feasibility study enabled ABB and TAKRAF to develop the gearless conveyor drive concept to closely fit the project’s needs.

The electrification of the new gearless overland conveyor is part of an overall $550 million expansion at the El Teniente mine, located approximately 70km southeast of Santiago de Chile.

Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division explains that the latest ABB gearless technology helps to increase long-term productivity, safety and sustainability of material handling operations with the new conveying drive system enabling Codelco to increase conveying capacity of the mine to more than 12,000 tons per hour by 2025.

By replacing diesel trucks with long-haul overland conveyor systems featuring electrical drive solutions for ore transportation, the mine will benefit from a reduced carbon footprint in its operations. The ABB drive system is designed to feed power back into the grid during electrical braking and regenerative operation. This feature, together with the variable speed drives will increase overall efficiency, availability, reliability and productivity at the copper mine.

ABB’s scope of supply:

  • Electrical equipment and new gearless drive technology (with twelve 2500kW/56 rpm motors) for the four conveyor flights of  the complete conveyor system
  • E-houses with pre-installed equipment, air conditioning and liquid cooling for ACS6000 drives and synchronous motors
  • Mining conveyor control program MCCP for main drive control and load sharing
  • Extended Automation System 800xA
  • Bus system, conveyor monitoring and instrumentation
  • Medium- (33kV) and low-voltage switchgears
  • Motor control centre (MCC) in NEMA standard
  • Uninterruptable power supply (UPS)
  • One asynchronous motor with a low-harmonic, air-cooled, low-voltage frequency converter ACS800 and a converter transformer
  • Gearless drive systems, comprising of 8 water-cooled synchronous motors, 4 MV low-harmonic voltage source inverters in multi-drive configuration and 4 converter and excitation transformers
ABB Australia represents the ABB Group in Australia.

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