A MAN ES project in Bolivia provides more than 100 MW of overall electric power to the iron ore mine in El Mutún, on the border with Brazil. More into details, MAN Energy Solutions delivered ten MAN 20V35/44G gas engines with a combined capacity of over 100 megawatts.
The El Mutún mine is one of the largest iron ore mines in the world. Estimates indicate that there could be over 40 billion tons of iron ore in an area of 75 square kilometers. 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.
The reasons behind the MAN ES project in Bolivia
«When it comes to processing steel, large and in particular 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 localized power plant solution guarantees the flexible, reliable and independent supply of electricity at all times», explained Martin Höhler, Head of Region Asia Pacific at MAN Energy Solutions.
«Our 35/44G gas engines are the perfect choice in this case. Thanks to their high reaction speed, these engines reach their full output in less than five minutes and can handle quick load changes effortlessly».
Engines delivered via the Paraná River
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 kilometers upstream to Bolivia.
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.