HFO has been a reliable fuel source for industry for decades; initially used as a marine fuel, it was soon put to use in other industries, such as the power industry. This fuel is frequently used as a backup or alternative when coal-powered power plants are low in their coal reserves. With other fuel options being expensive by comparison, HFO quickly became a preferred energy solution for power operations – including those at mines, where energy is a pressing concern.

Many countries experience a significant power deficit, affecting the operation times of mines, which lead to a series of other financial impacts such as decreased work times and decreased profit: if the mine cannot churn over the workload it was created to, it cannot meet targets or quotas. 

This risk is a huge cause for concern for mine operations across the continent, resulting in an active search for more reliable, cost-effective power sources. At present, the energy options for a mine are typically:

  • Power from the national grid 
  • Using hydrocarbon fuels like HFO and/or diesel 
  • Making use of renewable energy sources, such as solar power 

Our solutions don't require massive Capex investment and don't force a decision between economic savings or emissions savings - you get both.  

Despite the variety of energy solutions available, selecting one to be used at mines and in mining operations is no simple matter – each option has to be carefully considered. 

Use of a country’s national grid may seem like the most reasonable choice but can present a host of problems that simply cannot be ignored. The national grid can be unreliable and may pose problems through unplanned (or even planned!) power cuts, rolling blackouts and poor, damaged or unmaintained infrastructure resulting in power outages. 

Unlike many other industries or businesses, mines usually have a structured, set lifetime – meaning they will only operate for a specific period, or until the resources being mined deplete – the time for which is usually carefully estimated as well. With this schedule in mind, it is unrealistic to rely on a power source that may not be always be operational. Amongst a mine’s other costs, sourcing power from the national grid also incurs costs – costs that must be covered through the carrying out and completion of the mine’s workload. A mine cannot cover the cost of its power source if the source of its energy isn’t powering the mine long enough to do just that!

With national grids no longer seeming like a viable option, energy supply is often internalised through means of diesel generators, usually outsourced and rented from private companies. Generators vary in size, with larger generators usually being used at bigger mines. The larger machinery will require more diesel, mounting setup and fuel expenses further… it’s easy to see how costs can climb when using diesel, an increasingly expensive commodity!

Then there’s the option of renewable energy, becoming popular in other industries. Solar energy may be the most popular so far, with solar panels popping up on rooftops, street poles and businesses across the continent. The capex for this option for a mining context, however, often has mines turning back to conventional power sources, or using it to supplement renewable energy. With such high upfront costs, investors may be reluctant to foot the bill, despite the fact that, in most cases, the cost of renewable energy plants/infrastructure is recouped over time.

We would be pleased to receive inquiries from any interested parties.