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Patrick Project Services Completes Successful Moves for Weipa Power Station Upgrade

09-19-2005 04:49 PM CET | Logistics & Transport

Press release from: Patrick Project Services

Weipa, Queensland, Australia, September 19, 2005 -- Patrick Project Services just completed the mobilization of six 100 ton diesel generator sets for Project NeWeipa, a power station upgrade project for Comalco in the far north of Queensland. These generator sets were to be delivered to the Weipa Power Station on behalf of MAN B&W Diesel Australia to the town of Weipa, Queensland, approximately 2500 km northwest of Brisbane and 900 km north-northwest of Cairns. Weipa is a town of approximately 3500 people and is the site of the world's largest bauxite mine, owned by Australian mining company, Comalco.

Patrick Project Services, a member of the Global Project Logistics Network (GPLN), received six 100 ton MAN B&W Diesel generator sets under ship's hook at Humbug wharf in Weipa and then transported the generator sets, each measuring 11.3x2.9x5.1 m to temporary storage in Weipa on beams and stools at wharf. Afterward Patrick Project Services handled the road transport from wharf to Weipa Power Station site Installation by jacking and skating. Due to availability, the specialized equipment Patrick Project Services mobilized for the job came out of Melbourne rather than a nearer location such as Brisbane. “It’s a long way for six axles,” said Chris Happé, Project Manager, Patrick Project Services, “but fortunately they had a job in Brisbane on the way back.”

Overall timing of the delivery was also a factor. Not only must the generators be online by the end of 2005, but also when the northern Australian monsoon season begins, this region is not accessible by road.

The MAN B&W Diesel Group, the supplier of these generator sets, is a leading supplier of large diesel engines for ship propulsion systems, stationary power supply and rail traction and is also one of the leading suppliers of diesel power plants and turbochargers. The group’s turnover in 2004 amounted to over 1.4 billion Euro. For the Project NeWeipa, the large-bore diesel engines were built in the MAN B&W Augsburg works and in Australia MAN B&W Diesel Australia is working with Sinclair Knight Merz, who will assume responsibility for the installation and commissioning of the generator sets. “The electricity supply for mines is a future market for us,” said Franz Bobinger, Senior Vice President of the MAN B&W Diesel Power Plant business section, “as based on their high efficiency and outstanding reliability; diesel engines are optimum generators of electricity, above all in very remote regions”. MAN B&W Diesel Australia is a subsidiary of MAN AG, Munich, Germany.

According to Laurie Hicks, General Manager of the Project NeWeipa, the equipment supplied by MAN B&W Diesel Australia is valued at AUD 21 million and will service the towns of Weipa and Napranum as well as the East Weipa mine and the Lorim Point plant, both Comalco facilities. The engines were built in Germany and the alternators were built in Finland. Hicks went on to say that the Weipa area will be fully supplied with electricity generated by the six 9L32/40 four-stroke engines MAN B&W Diesel engines from the end of 2005. The electricity required at Weipa, has for 40 years been supplied by Mirrlees Diesel engines, which are now a part of the MAN B&W Diesel Group. Comalco has been mining bauxite, which is used for aluminium production, at Weipa since the early 1960s, an operation requiring a higher-than-average reliability of electricity supply. The peninsula in the north-east of Australia is very remote from the State grid electricity supply, and in addition, local towns with 2,500 inhabitants rely upon the Comalco Power Station for electricity.

Project NeWeipa’s owner, Comalco, is a supplier of bauxite, alumina and primary aluminium to Australia, New Zealand and export markets around the world. A wholly owned subsidiary of the mining giant Rio Tinto, Comalco provides about 20 per cent of Australia's total production of bauxite, eight per cent of its alumina and 24 per cent of its primary aluminium. It is the world's eighth largest aluminium company. Comalco began mining activity at Weipa in the late 1950s, following discovery of the vast bauxite resource by a geologist working for Consolidated Zinc Pty Ltd in 1955. The town of Weipa was constructed by Comalco in the 1960s to house its mining workforce. Today Weipa is the regional hub of the Western Cape hosting many businesses and government services.

Patrick Project Services specialises in the transport of difficult, overdimensional, overweight, and dangerous cargo. The Global Projects Logistics Network is a non-exclusive professional projects logistics group for independent companies specializing in international projects shipping by air, sea and land as well as specialized lifts and handling of oversized, out-of-gauge and heavy lift cargo.

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