BY IAN CAMERON
Energy generation equipment manufacturer Brush said it has flown a replacement turbogenerator across the globe to a mine in Australia in what it said is record time with help from an Antonov An-225 cargo plane.
The DAX 8-335 generator uses a Siemens steam turbine, weighs 117 tonnes and has an output of 57.8 MW. It was needed to replace an identical generator which was damaged because of a water leak at the Worsley Alumina mine in November 2015. It is one of two generators at the site which provides the power needed to drive drills, pumps and other equipment essential to the operation of the mine.
Delivery time in the contract was 20 weeks. To minimize downtime, Brush fast-tracked production of the replacement generator, reducing delivery time to just 17 weeks end-to-end. The Antonov made three refueling stops during its 8350 mile flight from Prague, Czech Republic – around 90 km from the Brush factory in Plzeň – to Perth Australia completing the journey in just 43 hours, saving thousands of hours compared with the six or seven weeks shipping by sea would have taken.
“Transporting the generator by air involves a number of challenges – we had to attach it to the fuselage using 36 anchor points to guarantee zero movement in flight and we used accelerometers to ensure the forces it experienced were within acceptable limits,” said Tomáš Vyčichl, project manager at Brush.
Owned by a joint venture between two Perth-headquartered businesses, South32 and Japan Alumina Associates, Worsley produces bauxite, the mineral from which aluminium is extracted.