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MV Switchgear to further support Kamoa-Kakula mine

233 of MV Switchgear’s SBV4E brand of AIS switchgear panels have been supplied to equip surface and underground substations at the mine. (Image source: ACTOM MV Switchgear)

Actom MV Switchgear has been awarded a contract for GELPAG solid insulated switchgear (SIS) units for underground substations at the Kamoa-Kakula copper mine in DRC

The new agreement follows the division effectively executing two large contracts over the past two years for the manufacturing, supply and installation of numerous air-insulated switchgear (AIS) panels for 11kv substations at the site. 

233 of MV Switchgear’s SBV4E brand of AIS switchgear panels have been supplied to equip surface and underground substations at the new mine. These comprise 140 panels for eight surface substations and 93 panels for five underground substations.

As per the new contract, the division will now provide 149 GELPAD SIS units for eight underground substations in a bid to address changes in underground conditions at the mine.

Rhett Kelly, MV Switchgear’s design & development manager, remarked, “Harsh environmental conditions such as high levels of humidity and dust were found to be present in these underground sections, necessitating having to introduce more specialised switchgear equipped to cope with these conditions.

“In such a situation the choice is typically between fixed pattern gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) and solid-dielectric-insulated switchgear (SIS). We were confident in recommending to DRA Global of South Africa, the engineering consultants for the Kamoa project, our GELPAG SIS product for this purpose.”

MV Switchgear has recently arranged in collaboration with its overseas-based OEM partner to commence local manufacture of some of the product’s ancillary components and the Kamoa mine will be the first recipient of GELPAG panels in terms of the new arrangement.

Rhett explained, “By taking this step we’ve substantially shortened the production lead times, as we can now manufacture the agreed locally produced components in parallel with the OEM’s production of the main product, thereby speeding up both final assembly of the product in our plant as well as delivery to the end-user.”

Johan Jordaan, the division’s technology development specialist, remarked, “The components being manufactured locally now and in the future are the LV compartment, internal arc ducting and the drop-down boxes for the cable terminations.

“While not normally required for the GELPAG product range, custom drop-down boxes have been designed to accommodate the 3-core cable terminations with core balance CT’s specified by the customer.

“To further speed up and simplify production and delivery, we’ve developed an LV connector system which allows the panel’s circuit-breaker, disconnector and earth switch wiring to interface with the LV control wiring via a standard multi-pin plug-and-socket system.”

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