Geita Gold Mine Power Project, Tanzania

Delivering a high-quality and reliable power plant at the Geita Gold Mine in Tanzania

“Our teamwork and dedication resulted in reduced risks for the client. The power plant is successfully supplying reliable power efficiently to the mine,” – Pieter Jansen van Rensburg, Aurecon Principal Power Generation Engineer.

Early in 2017, AngloGold Ashanti appointed Aurecon as Owner’s Engineer for the Geita Gold Mine Power Project in the Geita region of north-west Tanzania. Aurecon’s responsibilities covered the engineering, procurement and construction of a new 40 MW power plant, consisting of four Wärtsilä 32TS dual-fuel reciprocating engines, running on heavy fuel oil, to meet the mine’s future electricity demand.

Aurecon’s role included providing technical oversight, reducing overall project risks, and ensuring that the project’s deliverables were aligned with the owner’s expectations of a high-quality and reliable power plant. Aurecon’s multidisciplined team of professionals provided support and oversight in areas of project management, mechanical, electrical, control and instrumentation, geotechnical, civil and structural engineering, CAD, health, safety and environment, quality control, document control, contracting, risk assessment and construction.

Aurecon reviewed the power plant design, performed electrical modelling, designed a 1 km high-voltage overhead line to evacuate power from the new power plant and designed the fuel transport system. Furthermore, we provided continuous site construction oversight for the duration of the project as well as commissioning and acceptance testing oversight.

One of the challenges that the project team experienced was working in remote locations, requiring significant sacrifices and a great deal of perseverance. Another challenge was handling various unexpected events on a daily basis and having to make crucial decisions under pressure. Jogging and swimming proved to be good ways to reduce the stress and disconnect from work pressures.

An innovative solution that Aurecon brought to the project was a system ranking and tracking of all design review issues and technical concerns according to risk and priority. While this wasn’t part of the project scope, the system enabled a more efficient and streamlined approach to the design review process and ensuring that attention is focused where it is most needed.

“We not only contributed to provide the power needed to keep the mine sustainable, but also closed out engineering issues to ensure a high quality and reliable plant is delivered to our client,” concludes Jansen van Rensburg.

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