Skip to main content
Press Release

Rio Tinto installing GE's aeroderivative gas turbines to drive expansion of Western Australian mining operations

July 09, 2013

 Rio Tinto Deploying GE's LM6000-PF Gas Turbines at Two Sites in Pilbara Region
 Cape Lambert Project Marks First Use of GE's LM6000-PF for Combined Cycle Project in Australia
 GE Technology Supports Rio Tinto's Mine of the Future™Program

Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO, LSE: RIO), one of the world's leading mining companies, has selected GE's (NYSE: GE) aeroderivative gas turbine technology to supply reliable power needed for iron ore production at two sites in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Rio Tinto recently installed GE's ecomagination qualified LM6000-PF Sprint aeroderivative gas turbine with dual-fuel dry low emissions (DLE) technology for a new on-site power plant at its West Angelas iron ore mine in the remote Pilbara region.

GE's aeroderivative gas turbine and steam turbine technology also have been selected for a new combined-cycle power station that will improve off-grid power generation at Cape Lambert, a seaport used for exporting iron ore from the company's Pilbara mines. This critical project will enhance the security, reliability and efficiency of Rio Tinto's power supply infrastructure across the Pilbara region.

Rio Tinto is implementing Australia's largest-ever, integrated mining project to expand the capacity of its Pilbara operations by 50 percent from the current 237 million tonnes per annum to up to 360 million tonnes per annum in 2015.

The two Rio Tinto projects are examples of how GE's diverse portfolio of power and water technologies are helping the global mining industry enhance the efficiency and reliability of its operations.

"These two very different projects for Rio Tinto reflect the ability of the global mining industry to use our highly flexible aeroderivative gas turbine technology to support industrial on-site power and grid-support projects that promote local energy security," said Darryl Wilson, vice president and chief commercial officer---distributed power for GE Power & Water.

West Angelas iron ore mine, Pilbara, Western Australia

Located in the remote Pilbara region, 110 kilometres west of Newman, Rio Tinto's West Angelas mine required heavy-duty, reliable and efficient sources of power to ensure uninterrupted operation. Because of the technical and logistical obstacles involved with adding a mine to the electrical grid, Rio Tinto turned to GE to provide an on-site power solution at the remote West Angelas site.

In the 40--50 megawatt (MW) power range, the LM6000 is one of the most efficient open-cycle gas turbines in the world. The turbines deliver more than 40 MW of power at more than 40 percent efficiency while maintaining 25 parts per million (ppm) nitrous oxide levels when running on gas fuel and 85 ppm when running on diesel fuel. Additionally, GE's dual-fuel DLE technology minimises nitrous oxide emissions without needing water injection, whichis a significant benefit for customers with limited water availability, a common issue in Australia.

GE's LM6000-PF is the next generation of GE's DLE technology. With the dual-fuel DLE combustor, the LM6000-PF can be operated on natural gas or diesel fuels, allowing Rio Tinto to continuously operate the plant regardless of fuel supply issues.

Cape Lambert combined-cycle power plant, Pilbara, Western Australia

The Cape Lambert power project marks the first time GE's LM6000-PF will be used for a combined-cycle power application in Australia. For the project, GE is supplying an integrated, 130 MW combined-cycle power island package featuring two GE LM6000-PF gas turbines, two once-through steam generators, a GE Oil & Gas steam turbine and balance of plant equipment. GE will supply the power island to Forge Group Power, which has the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the complete power station.

By utilising natural gas in combined-cycle mode, the port's new generating plant will improve grid stability, produce power more efficiently at baseload and reduce emissions compared to the use of other fossil fuels.

GE is scheduled to deliver its gas turbines to Cape Lambert in the third quarter of 2013, and the plant is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2015.

GE's portfolio of innovative distributed power solutions gives businesses and communities around the world the ability to generate reliable and efficient power using a variety of fuels anywhere, whether on or off the grid. GE's distributed power solutions give customers of all types---including industrial businesses, developing communities, government agencies managing disaster relief and other emergency power situations---the ability to generate efficient and reliable power whenever and wherever it is needed. GE's distributed power portfolio includes GE aeroderivative gas turbines, Jenbacher and Waukesha gas engines and Clean Cycle waste heat recovery solutions.

Ecomagination is GE's commitment to providing innovative solutions that maximise resources, drive economic performance and help make the world work better.

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the U.K., combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and Southern Africa.

Emma_ Rugge-Price
VP Communications
[email protected]

business unit