ABB to supply gearless mill drive to mine in Chile | Automation.com

ABB to supply gearless mill drive to mine in Chile

February 28, 2011 - ABB, was awarded an over $47 million contract from Codelco for the delivery of three gearless mill drive (GMD) systems, gas-insulated switchgears (GIS), E-house and power transformers for the Ministro Hales (MH) project at 6 Kms north from Calama, Chile. The MH project brings the number of GMD orders for ABB to 100 units. MH is a greenfield project, and for Codelco one of the most important investments made. At an elevation of 3000 meters above sea level, Calama is the gateway to the geological and archaeological wonders of Northern Chile s high central Atacama desert.

The GMD system portion consists of a 12 megawatt GMD for a 36-foot SAG mill and two 8.9 megawatt GMDs for two 22-foot ball mills. Leaving the factory at the end of 2011 those two GMDs will be the first ones assembled at ABB s new GMD assembly factory in Basel, Switzerland. In addition to the GMD systems ABB will deliver a 220kV gas-insulated switchgear (GIS), three containerized E-rooms including 23kV GIS and auxiliary services), as well as power transformers. Start-up of the plant is scheduled for 2013.

Acting as a variable speed drive, the GMD allows the mill to start smoothly, without any mechanical stress and fulfills the customer s requirements for flexibility and adjustability of the process, enabling maximum control over the grinding process. ABB gearless mill drive systems feature numerous benefits when compared with conventional geared drive systems: superior reliability also with weak networks, increased process availability, extended life span and improved energy efficiency. Furthermore the system brings advantages such as optimal space conditions, a minimum number of spare parts, mechanical and electrical components and consequently less maintenance requirements and an easy inclusion in all mill concepts.

The history of gearless mill drives started in 1969 when ABB installed the world s first GMD which is still in operation today. Having sold 100 units around the globe, the company has broken every record while meeting the challenges of extreme elevations, transportation restrictions as well as ever increasing power ratings and mill sizes: In 2010 Newmont Mining Corporation selected ABB to deliver a 28 megawatt GMD for the world s first 42- foot SAG mill.

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 124,000 people.

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