Generators providing light and power in one of the world’s largest coal mines

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Generator sets and lighting towers from a prominent seller are operating int Tavan Tolgoi, a coal mine located in southern Mongolia, where extreme changes in temperature, which ranges from -40°C in winter to over 35°C in summer, require the use of robust, durable and high-quality equipment.

Located south of the Gobi Desert in the province of Ömnögovi, Mongolia, Tavan Tolgoi is one of the largest coal mines in the world. It was discovered in 1945 and exploration studies went on until 1985. After being run by state-owned and private companies, Erdenes MGL LLC assigned management of the extraction work to the state-owned company Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi in 2010.

According to the latest explorations, Tavan Tolgoi has 6.4 billion tons of high-quality coal and is divided into six sections. Unitra LLC, HIMOINSA’s distributor in Mongolia since 2011, has been chosen to supply generator sets and lighting towers, after a tender process in which the leading international manufacturers of generators and lighting towers participated.

At present, five HIMOINSA Apolo Start 4006 lighting towers and a T5 HFW250 soundproof generator set are in operation in several of the six sections of the extraction site.

Technical Specifications of the equipment

The harsh environmental conditions of the area, where the temperature ranges from -40°C in winter to over 35°C in summer, meant that the company had to choose durable and reliable equipment.

The HIMOINSA HFW250 generator is equipped with a pre-heater system for the engine’s water circuit allowing the generator to start in winter. As a result, the generator set, running on a stand-by application, is guaranteed to start promptly, even at temperaturas -40ºC, as HIMOINSA offers configurations to prevent engine fluids from freezing.

As an emergency generator set, it is able to deliver the rated power within 10 seconds from the utility failure. Furthermore, it has a high level of sound insulation. All HIMOINSA canopies have an internal coating of rock wool, an insulation material with excellent acoustic and thermal properties. Another reason the HIMOINSA generator set has been well received in the mining sector is the epoxy polyester powder finish they have – a chemical treatment to prevent corrosion – which is very common in this type of environment.

The atmosphere at Tavan Tolgoi is dry and dusty. In addition to constant strong winds, there is a risk of operating equipment becoming damaged. The AS4006 lighting tower is designed to withstand ambient temperatures ranging from -20 to 45°C. With a manually extendible mast, which reaches a height of 9 metres, it can illuminate up to 32,000 square metres. The technical managers for the project have confirmed that the HIMOINSA lighting towers are running every night during the summer and generate light 24 hours a day during winter, since there are few daylight hours and artificial light is needed. “These lighting towers can operate for up to 70 hours non-stop, more than 7 nights without refuelling,” explains Manuel Sánchez Bada, Engineering Manager at HIMOINSA.

The 9-metre high mast folds down manually and horizontally for optimal and easy transport, “a feature which is highly valued by project managers in the mining sector, as the equipment is regularly moved from one place to another on site, depending on the extraction periods”, says Fred Shen, Regional Sales Managerin Mongolia, adding that “the fact that the equipment is designed to be easily transportable helps optimise working times and improve productivity.”