Eritrea: 10 January 2011 - Aggreko, the global leader in the provision of temporary power and temperature control services, has successfully commissioned a 20 MW rental power package for Bisha Mining Share Company (BMSC), a joint venture company of Nevsun Resources and the Eritrean government. The power package is being used to commission and operate the Bisha gold mine in Eritrea.
Aggreko has an extensive track record of powering mines in remote locations, which assisted in securing the contract, as the Bisha mine is situated in an isolated region of Eritrea approximately 300 kilometres from the Red Sea. Prior to commencing the construction of the mine, BMSC had to satisfy its investors that Aggreko would be able to provide a stable and reliable power supply, as the site would be unable to access the Eritrean national grid due to its location.
The Bisha mine site was first analysed over 10 years ago, with hundreds of tests and samples taken prior to the decision to commence production. The mine has a high gold value of between 8 and 12 grams of gold per tonne of dirt, up to three times the average payload for a gold mine. For the first two years, gold will be extracted and once this has been completed, copper and zinc will be mined.
The 20 MW power package provided by Aggreko was installed and commissioned in one phase, with final commissioning taking place in early October 2010. The power package is now the mine’s only source of operational power until a permanent power supply is established, with Aggreko technicians manning the site 24 hours a day to ensure a stable and reliable power supply.
Cliff Davis, Chief Executive Officer at Nevsun Resources, said: “We are delighted to be working with Aggreko as they have great experience operating at sites similar to the Bisha mine. Being in a remote location meant that finding a reliable power supply was a critical factor; however, Aggreko’s lead time and modular flexibility fitted well with our planned production schedule.”
James Shepherd, Managing Director, Aggreko South and East Africa, said: “Our track record of working with remote mines was crucial to this contract win. We are very pleased to be working on the project, as without a reliable power supply the mine's production would almost certainly have been delayed. Our power packages operate to the highest standards across the globe and I am confident that Bisha mine will prove this again.”