Siguiri Gold Mine, Republic of Guinea

Aurecon was the Owner’s Engineer for the Siguiri Gold Mine in Guinea 

“Around 40 Aurecon team members were involved on this project. The team’s dedication to the success of the project, especially during the commissioning period, was inspiring and almost supernatural,” – Pieter Jansen van Rensburg, Aurecon Principal Power Generation Engineer.

Aurecon was appointed as Owner’s Engineer by AngloGold Ashanti for the engineering, procurement and construction of Siguiri Gold Mine's new 30 MW power plant in Guinea. The power plant consists of three Wärtsilä 32TS duel fuel reciprocating engines which run on heavy fuel oil.

Aurecon’s role was to provide technical oversight on behalf of the owner. The objective was to reduce overall project risks and ensure that deliverables meet the owner’s expectation of having an efficient, safe and reliable power plant. The main activities performed by Aurecon’s professional team included the detailed review and key recommendations on the EPC contract and electrical network modelling in ETAP ‒ one of the most comprehensive analysis platforms for the design, simulation, operation, and automation of generation, distribution, and industrial power systems.

The team executed design reviews of all engineering aspects and resolved design queries with the supplier, facilitated a hazard and operability (HAZOP) study to ensure safe design, reviewed the operations and maintenance contract, and provided oversight during factory acceptance testing, construction, commissioning and final acceptance tests.

The most significant challenge that the team experienced was during construction and commissioning when work intensity (and unforeseen events) reached a peak. The significant pressure to deliver the project on time, called for exceptional attention to management of work quality.

Apart from the demands of overseeing construction quality and commissioning, the remoteness of the power plant’s location in itself presented challenges which the team had to cope with.

During the project, the engine supplier agreed to modify their document review database in line with Aurecon’s requirements. The improved system enabled the team to better report on design review comments and rank the risks of the issues raised in a streamlined, efficient way. An interesting development was Aurecon’s Resident Engineer becoming competent in French during his time on site, which improved communication and cooperation with the local team.

“We had a large team working on this project, and I am proud of their ability to take the initiative and assist the contractor whenever it was needed. Since commissioning, the power plant has been operating reliably and efficiently,” concludes Jansen van Rensburg.

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