Wärtsilä Schneider Electric Develop Power System for Lithium Mines
The technology group Wärtsilä and Schneider Electric have together developed a unique, end-to-end power system reference design. It is aimed specifically at lithium mine operations where there is no access to a grid supply of electricity. The design provides for an economically viable total expenditure that covers the complete process, including consulting, project design, the power infrastructure, equipment delivery, installation and commissioning. The solution contributes to sustainable lithium production by optimising the efficient delivery and use of energy, and by leveraging microgrids and enabling renewable energy sources. The overall objective of this collaborative development is to provide high efficiency power solutions with a minimal environmental footprint for the mining industry.
The design concept expands to the lifecycle of the mine and it links the availability and performance of the power generating plant to a mine’s productivity. Shared business case incentives, based on key performance indicators for the power generation reduce operational cost and enhance power availability, supporting thus a mine’s production targets. Predictability of parts and maintenance costs reduces the need for working capital.
Wärtsilä and Schneider Electric signed the framework co-operation agreement for the development of the design for mining energy solutions in March 2020. The parties aim to optimise customer benefit in mining projects by offering solutions based on mutually complementary technologies. The business white paper Recommended power generation and electrical distribution for high altitude lithium mine was published in June 2021.