MAN Supplying Gas Engines To Iron Ore Mine

By Jack Burke12 December 2019

MAN Energy Solutions delivered 10 MAN 20V35/44G gas engines with a combined capacity of over 100 MW to Bolivia to supply electricity for steel works at the El Mutún iron ore mine on the border with Brazil.

The El Mutún mine is one of the largest iron ore mines in the world. Estimates indicate that there could be over 40 billion tons of iron ore in an area of 75 km2. The site does not just mine iron ore but also processes it into steel directly on-location, which requires large-scale industrial machinery with high energy needs, such as blast furnaces and rolling mills.

The 35/44G is offered in a V-type version with 20 cylinders and an electrical genset output of 10 420 kW (50 Hz), respectively 10 027 kW (60 Hz). The engine has a bore and stroke of 350 X 440 mm.

“When it comes to processing steel, large and in particular spontaneous load changes are one of the biggest energy supply challenges. Due to the remote location of the El Mutún mine, it simply isn’t possible to ensure satisfactory coverage through the national power grid. Instead, our localized power plant solution guarantees the flexible, reliable and independent supply of electricity at all times,” said Martin Höhler, head of Region Asia Pacific at MAN Energy Solutions. “Our 35/44G gas engines are the perfect choice in this case. Thanks to their high reaction speed, these engines reach their full output in less than five minutes and can handle quick load changes effortlessly.”

Bolivia has rich natural gas deposits and therefore a good gas infrastructure. This means there is a secure supply of local natural gas for the power plant.

Since the mine is located in the heart of South America and very difficult to access by road, the engines needed be delivered by water via the Paraná River. The engines were transported on barges from Uruguay via Argentina and Paraguay around 2400 km upstream to Bolivia.


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