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MAN provides power plant solution for Bolivian mine

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

Ten gas engines from MAN Energy Solutions will provide 100 MW of electric power for steel works at the El Mutún iron ore mine in Bolivia.

The company has delivered ten MAN 20V35/44G gas engines with a combined capacity of over 100 MW to Bolivia. The engines will supply electricity for steel works at the El Mutún iron ore mine on the border with Brazil.

The El Mutún mine is one of the largest iron ore mines in the world. Estimates indicate that there could be over 40 billion t of iron ore in an area of 75 km2. The site does not just mine iron ore but also processes it into steel directly on location, which requires large-scale industrial machinery with high energy needs, such as blast furnaces and rolling mills.

Martin Höhler, Head of Region Asia Pacific at MAN Energy Solutions, explained: “When it comes to processing steel, large and spontaneous load changes are one of the biggest energy supply challenges. Due to the remote location of the El Mutún mine, it simply isn't possible to ensure satisfactory coverage through the national power grid. Instead, our localised power plant solution guarantees the flexible, reliable and independent supply of electricity at all times.

Bolivia has rich natural gas deposits and therefore a good gas infrastructure. This means there is a secure supply of local natural gas for the power plant.

Since the mine is located in the heart of South America and very difficult to access by road, the engines have to be delivered by water via the Paraná River. The engines were transported on barges from Uruguay via Argentina and Paraguay around 2400 km upstream to Bolivia.

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