Powering Mining Operations Using LNG

CIM Vancouver 2016
Mrs Jason McIvor (VP Business Development - Cryopeak LNG Solutions)
Today, a number mining projects using LNG continue to move forward in spite of the low oil prices. Stornoway diamonds is using LNG as fuel for their seven 2.1MW rated natural gas generators at their Renard diamond mine in Quebec. Teck resources is using LNG as fuel for 6 of their Komatsu mine haul trucks at their Fording River operations. Multiple mining companies such as Wellgreen Platinum to Western Copper and Gold are asserting LNG as their fuel of choice.

The benefits of LNG include lower exhaust emissions, lower fuel costs and reduced costs related to soil remediation when comparing versus diesel. Mobile LNG solutions enable LNG to be used for camps during construction in addition to LNG use for mining operations.

LNG must be kept cold to remain a liquid. Storage solutions require the use of twin walled vacuum sealed tanks which allow for greater hold times where LNG is kept in a liquid state. For small scale use a number of innovative storage designs have come on the market place to enable lower cost alternatives to diesel.

The chicken and egg question of who should commit to projects first; LNG suppliers or end customers, is being answered at different rates in different parts of Canada. In Western Canada FortisBC has committed to expanding their liquefaction plant by Q4 2016 in Delta, B.C. to allow for the shipment of approximately 35 tanker trucks full of LNG a day. Altagas is expected to have their first LNG supply point available in Dawson Creek by Q2, 2016. Rounding off the LNG suppliers in Western Canada is Ferus who have an operational LNG plant in Grand Prairie Alberta with plans for expansion in Edmonton. In central/eastern Canada Gaz Metro along with the Quebec government are expanding their LNG production capacity to enable the output of up to 60 LNG tanker loads a day.

By using a cost effective fuel for power generation, mining companies can benefit from lower cost electricity production as well as a more environmentally sustainable solution.

This session focuses on the challenges, benefits, and considerations associated with the development of an off-pipeline natural gas remote power generation project. A landscape of Canadian LNG remote power generation projects and related LNG supply points will be provided. An overview of equipment available including mobile storage equipment, natural gas generators and conversion kits will be also discussed.
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