ABB was recently contracted to supply two synchronous condensers for Xstrata Copper’s Las Bambas greenfield copper project in southern Peru. The contract was awarded in the second quarter of 2012, deliveries are scheduled for 2013. Located near Cusco, in Peru’s Apurimac Region at an elevation of over 4000 m above sea level, the Las Bambas mining project contemplates three open-pit mines. It is projected to produce an initial 400 000 t of copper per year in concentrate, including significant gold, silver and molybdenum by-products. Commissioning of the mine is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2014.
ABB’s scope of supply includes two synchronous condenser systems comprised of 20-megavolt ampere synchronous motors, distribution transformers, frequency converters, excitation and protection panels as well as chiller systems. The project is located in a remote area and connected by a long power transmission line. ABB’s delivery will ensure safe and reliable operation of the large mills and conveyors at the mine by providing the needed level of short circuit power. The integration of synchronous condensers and harmonic filters mitigate the harmonics and improve the short circuit level, and will optimize the mine’s productivity and energy efficiency.