08/12/2020 - 14:30

APA to install $38m microgrid at Gruyere

08/12/2020 - 14:30

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APA Group has been contracted by the owners of the Gruyere goldmine in Western Australia to install a renewable energy microgrid.

APA to install $38m microgrid at Gruyere
APA Group will build 4 megawatt gas-fired engine and 13MW solar farm at the Gruyere goldmine in WA.

APA Group has been contracted by the owners of the Gruyere goldmine in Western Australia to install a renewable energy microgrid.

Gruyere is a 50:50 joint venture between Gold Road and South African-owned Gold Fields, situated 200 kilometres east of Laverton.

APA has been tasked with expanding the existing 45-megawatt Gruyere power station to 64MW.

The group will install a 4MW gas-fired engine by mid-2021, as part of phase one works under its contract with Gold Road. It will be the 12th gas-fired engine at Gruyere.

APA will then build, own and operate a 13MW solar farm and 4.4MW battery energy storage system by the end of 2021 (phase two).

The works, expected to cost $38 million, come under an existing supply agreement with APA that runs until November 2033.

The expansion is expected to reduce carbon emissions at Gruyere by 10 per cent, as well as save on power supply costs and increase plant throughput from 8.2 million tonnes per annum to the 10mtpa target.

Gold Road managing director Duncan Gibbs said the company was boosting its ESG initiatives.

“The power expansion at Gruyere provides an elegant technical solution that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, decreases costs and enables an increase in plant capacity,” he said.

“This will not only see increased annual cash flow generation for the business, but it will help drive additional unit cost reductions, as Gruyere is further defined as a tier one, low-cost and long-life gold producer.”

After officially opening in December, the $621 million Gruyere goldmine produced 115 ounces of gold until June 30, boosting total output for both Gold Road and Gold Fields.

Gold Fields is now the state’s biggest gold producer, according to Business News Data & Insights, while Gold Road is ranked 16 (previously 27).

APA said the microgrid would use a hybrid control system that combined cloud and weather forecasting, battery control and the existing engine control systems.

The expansion is APA's first hybrid energy microgrid investment, managing director Rob Wheals says.

Gas will continue to be supplied on a take-or-pay basis by APA’s interconnected gas pipeline network.

The NSW-based business is currently building a $460 million, 580-kilometre gas pipeline, which will link the Dampier Bunbury and Goldfields pipelines by mid-2022.

APA Group shares closed up 1.5 per cent to trade at $10.26, while Gold Road closed up 2 per cent to $1.27.

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