14/06/2018 - 14:52

Roy Hill connects to Pilbara power

14/06/2018 - 14:52

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Iron ore miner Roy Hill has connected its Port Hedland operations to Horizon Power’s North West Interconnected System following the installation of extensive underground facilities, which began in 2016.

Roy Hill connects to Pilbara power
Roy Hill exports about 55 million tonne per annum of iron ore from Port Hedland. Photo: Roy Hill

Iron ore miner Roy Hill Holdings has connected its Port Hedland operations to Horizon Power’s North West Interconnected System following the installation of extensive underground facilities, which began in 2016.

The organisations signed a 15-year power purchase agreement in November 2016, which officially commenced in April this year.

The project required the underground installation of two 33 kilovolt feeder lines, both five kilometres long, between Horizon Power’s South West Creek Substation and Roy Hill’s main switchboard at the port.

Horizon Power managing director Frank Tudor said the connection was a significant milestone.

“We are pleased to be providing power for Roy Hill’s iron ore mining, rail and port operations in Port Hedland,” he said.

“The connection of Roy Hill to our Pilbara network, and the partnership we have embarked on together, represents strong investment in the Pilbara that West Australians can place their confidence in.”

Roy Hill chief executive Barry Fitzgerald echoed Mr Tudor’s sentiments.

“Roy Hill is pleased to partner with Horizon Power to help execute the long-term, safe, sustainable delivery of our 55 million tonne per annum iron ore export operations in Port Hedland,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

It comes as a deregulation of the North West Interconnected System, a power grid which covers much of the Pilbara, is under way.

Energy Minister Ben Wyatt announced in February that Horizon Power would be obliged to facilitate third party access to its poles and wires as a mechanims to bring down power prices in the north.

Previously, Alinta Energy had sort and failed to gain access to Horizon's network.

Many power stations in the Pilbara are not connected to the grid and there is significant excess capacity, with mining companies needing to build in extra generation as a reserve.

Other moves have taken place, too.

Horizon Power has an agreement to purchase 75 per cent of the power from TransAlta Corporation 150-megawatt power station in South Hedland, which was officially opened in November last year.

In November, Fortescue Metals Group terminated its contract with TransAlta to draw 40MW from the South Hedland facility after raising performance concerns in August.

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