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Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has spent US$33mn on three Wartsila diesel generators to boost the power supply at its Konkola Deep Mining Project
According to Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP) manager Billy Sakala, the three 24MW capacity electricity generators have greatly increased the firm’s ability to deal with the challenges of pumping water from underground in the event of a power outage from the national grid.
“Konkola is one of the wettest mines,” said Sakala. “We actually pump 300 cu/m of water per day and it is important for the mine to be saved from flooding after a power failure. Water creates a situation where we cannot operate. So it is a risk to the operation of the mine and, therefore, we decided to put new state-of-the-art generator sets in order for the company to deal with the challenges of power outages.”
Sakala was speaking in Chililabombwe recently when a team of journalists toured the facility. For many years, the company has faced challenges of dealing with power outages and pumping water without a generator set. The machine was essentially an emergency system that would give power to the firm and facilitate its operation when the national power system develops a fault.
The generator sets are essential to KCM operations as it has helped reduce pressure on the national grid in an event of a power failure. The company now has the capacity to guarantee the safety of the mine, the workers and all its equipment underground whenever there is a power outage.