Wartsila’s GEMS energy management solution will be used to improve the mine’s operations, lessen fuel consumption and reduce carbon emissions


Image: Energy storage system of Fekola mine in Mali will be optimised based on Wärtsilä’s GEMS solution to improve the mine’s operations. Photo: courtesy of Wartsila Corporation.

Wartsila has secured a contract from Canadian gold-mining company B2Gold to design and engineer a 17MW/15MWh energy storage system at the Fekola gold mine in Mali.

The energy storage system is based on Finland-based manufacturing company’s GEMS energy management solution, which will be deployed to enhance the mine’s operations, lessen fuel consumption and reduce carbon emissions.

Presently, Fekola depends on regular liquid fuels for its power and will gain from Wärtsilä’s energy storage and hybrid energy system. It is the first mine in the region to add energy storage and solar to its operations.

The GEMS technology will not only manage the new energy storage system, but will also control a new 30MW solar plant which is under construction.

Wartsila said that the solution will optimise energy production for the complete mine.

B2Gold project manager Jan Clausen said: “We chose Wartsila because of their experience in the region, and because of their capabilities in designing and managing hybrid plants.

“We wanted to optimise full electricity generation at the mine using solar and energy storage. A key part of this solution is Wartsila’s state-of-the-art GEMS technology; it was an easy decision.”

Wartsila’s GEMS technology will use artificial intelligence to optimally operate the system’s assets

Wartsila added that GEMS uses artificial intelligence and automated decision-making based on real-time and forecasted data, including load demand and weather, to optimally operate the system’s assets and maximise efficiencies.

Wartsila business development director for energy storage and optimisation Risto Paldanius said: “Hybrid solutions with renewable energy sourced power operations, are a realistic and effective means for increasing energy reliability and lowering operating costs for the mining sector.

“These remote locations are ideally suited for hybrid systems. Our extensive experience with microgrids in various climatic and geographical conditions will help the Fekola mine, and others of its kind, to achieve their environmental and cost saving goals.”

Wärtsilä secured a series of orders from Africa, taking its combined installed base to over 7.4GW.