Fortescue hands Iron Bridge contract to ABB

The Iron Bridge operation. Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group has awarded ABB a contract worth $35.6 million to provide variable speed drives and motors at its Iron Bridge project in Western Australia.

ABB was chosen for its energy efficient motors and drives. The water cooled variable speed drives will be installed in eight switch rooms and operated by a separate transformer outside the room, to reduce the heat generated inside.

This means the room requires less energy to maintain a room temperature of 25 degrees Celsius.

ABB’s drives will also support a higher voltage 33-kilovolt network which eliminates the need for a lower voltage intermediate switchboard, reducing the overall project cost.

Fortescue also selected ABB’s high voltage induction motors to power high-pressure grinding rolls, grinding mills and baghouse fans to separate ore from dust.

“We have worked closely with the Iron Bridge team to ensure that we delivered an energy efficient, reliable and innovative solution,” ABB Motion Australia business manager Mike Briggs said.

“We are especially pleased to have won both the drive and the motor business and look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Fortescue beyond the delivery of this project and supporting them throughout the mine’s lifecycle.”

A joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group Magnetite and Formosa Steel, the Iron Bridge project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022.

Once complete, Iron Bridge is expected to deliver 22 million tonnes per annum of high-grade 67 per cent iron magnetite concentrate product.

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