Madagascar team installs eco-friendly power source
April 27, 2017
Mpumalanga Mining Resources SA, a Tata International subsidiary, is located in a remote area of Madagascar and had been facing severe power supply challenges. With the aim of addressing these, a project was introduced under the leadership of Mr Romeo Das, Head, Minerals, Africa, supported by Mr Niloy Datta and Mr Rindra Ravomanana, with the objective of finding a safe, cost-effective, eco-friendly and sustainable solution.
The project involved re-engineering the electrical system to make it cost-effective, sustainable and reliable. The existing system had no power supply either from the government agency nor private distribution companies and used two generators (6.5 KVA and 3 KVA) for its supply. Maintenance and fuel supply for the generators caused several challenges given that the closest petrol pump was 168 km away.
To remedy this, a new one 13-KVA sound-proof diesel generator was installed. Additionally, new solar panels with a 5 KVA inverter and well-laid out switch board were set up to address the increased demand. Lighting loads were also reorganised using a lightning arrestor. These modifications have now led to a number of benefits for the camp:
- Overall increase in safety parameters of the camp electrical system
- Reduction of specific fuel consumption from 1.5 litre per hour to 1.2 per hour due to load reduction
- Reduction of operating hours of DG from +400 hours per month to about 100 hours per month (average) resulting in reduction of +300 litre of consumption per month (saving of about 1.0 million Ariary)
In just over five months, the team has already recovered its investment. It has also boosted employee morale and motivation significantly.
By using the eco-friendly power source and modification of electrical distribution system, MMRSA has not only reduced operating costs but it has also reduced the carbon footprint for the project.