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Driving Boliden’s electric transformation

Swedish mining company Boliden, a pioneering leader in sustainable mining, is utilizing ABB’s groundbreaking power infrastructure for electric mine trucks. This will reduce carbon emissions and boost productivity at its Aitik mine, paving the way for sustainable mining

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Customer needs

  • meet the high demand for copper in a sustainable manner by replacing parts of the mine’s existing transport system with electric trucks
  • carry 70 million tons of ore at Aitik mine every year without using fossil fuel

ABB's solution

A digital substation, including a 4.8-megawatt rectifier, connected to the ABB Ability System 800xA control system

Benefits

  • improve operator’s health
  • increase productivity
  • reduce fleet gas emissions
  • reduce costs
"We have had good experience cooperating with ABB on complex technical solutions, and were confident that ABB would meet our needs.”
Jonas Ranggård, technical project manager at Boliden’s Aitik mine
This effective power infrastructure solution is ABB’s first-ever application for heavy-duty trucks in the mining industry.
ABB is helping the Swedish mine to save 830 m3 of diesel annually and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 %.

Trolley system pilot project for mining transport electrification

ABB has designed, delivered and commissioned an effective electrical infrastructure to power several mine trucks at Boliden AB’s Aitik mine, Sweden's largest open-pit copper mine. This comes at a time when the uptake of electric vehicles has been progressing steadily, with more companies opting to reduce carbon emissions by switching to electric vehicles. ABB is helping to lay the foundation for this remarkable electric and digital transformation.

At the Aitik mine, located just south of Gällivare in northern Sweden, Boliden aimed to improve the operator’s health, increase productivity, reduce fleet gas emissions and costs through this pilot project. It will replace parts of the mine’s existing transport system with electric trucks and use ABB’s power infrastructure, with the goal of carrying 70 million tons of ore every year at the mine without using fossil fuel.

“ABB has delivered the rectifier substation and assisted in designing the project setup by bringing an experienced team with a very collaborative mindset onboard the project,” said Jonas Ranggård, technical project manager at Boliden’s Aitik mine. “We have had good experience cooperating with ABB on complex technical solutions, and were confident that ABB would meet our needs.”

Boliden will replace parts of the mine’s existing transport system with electric trucks and use ABB’s power infrastructure, with the goal of carrying 70 million tons of ore every year at the mine without using fossil fuel

Cutting carbon emissions and costs

ABB is helping the Swedish mine to save 830 m3 of diesel annually and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent. For this project, ABB has provided a digital substation, including a 4.8-megawatt rectifier, connected to the ABB Ability™ System 800xA control system. This solution is ABB’s first-ever application for heavy-duty trucks in mining industry. It provides best-in-class digital capabilities through ABB Ability™, ABB’s cross-industry digital offering.

 ABB’s rectifier will efficiently convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC), providing maximum availability and highest productivity. The digital substation will bring in digital communications through fiber optic cables that will replace traditional copper cables, significantly reducing costs. It will also ensure safety, as systems are monitored digitally without requiring manual intervention.

Digital substation is providing maximum availability, highest productivity and safety while significantly reducing costs. Systems are monitored digitally without requiring manual intervention

ABB Ability™ MineOptimize connected solutions

ABB Ability™ MineOptimize is the base of the project, offering a suite of digitally connected solutions, products, and services. The digital capabilities of MineOptimize provide connected solutions that will send early alerts when the equipment needs servicing, as well as provide remote assistance to ensure real-time guidance and remote monitoring to ensure best performance. The ABB Ability™ MineOptimize offering combines the best of ABB technology with the customer’s expertise and targets, making ABB’s teams in project management, engineering and service well-equipped to achieve essential goals related to the project.

The digital capabilities of MineOptimize provide connected solutions that will send early alerts when the equipment needs servicing. Remote assistance with real-time guidance and remote monitoring ensure best performance.

Leading the way towards sustainable mining

The project is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency and is being realized by a number of collaborating parties, such as Eitech and ABB for the electrical infrastructure, and Caterpillar and Pon Equipment for the truck conversion. ABB has been deeply involved in laying the groundwork for an all-electric mine concept and provides several solutions around electrification, automation and digitalization – three key elements that are transforming mining. Boliden is already partnering with ABB to develop automation in its mines to keep production running round-the-clock and improve safety.

Boliden and ABB have deployed unprecedented levels of automation and control, both below and above ground to optimize performance, building on their strong 90-year relationship. ABB has undertaken several projects at Boliden, including commissioning the first computerized mine hoist at its mine in Boliden and more recently, installing the System 800xA control solution at Aitik mine.

The electrification project at Aitik is significant, as demand for copper is expected to continue to rise, driven by increased production of electric vehicles and the widespread use of renewable energy. Increased productivity and safety, with the help of ABB solutions, will help Boliden meet the high demand for copper  in a sustainable manner, perfectly in tune with ABB’s principle of running the world without consuming the earth.

ABB has been deeply involved in laying the groundwork for an all-electric mine concept and provides several solutions around electrification, automation and digitalization – three key elements that are transforming mining.

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