ABB to provide electrification and automation technologies for LKAB iron pellet plant upgrade project

ABB to provide electrification and automation technologies for LKAB iron pellet plant upgrade project

• Swedish iron ore miner LKAB selects ABB for switchgears, drives, transformers and control system integration in Kiruna

• ABB also conducting engineering, commissioning, project management and installation in pellet and concentrating plants

Swedish mining company LKAB dates back around 130 years and produces today 80 percent of all iron ore in Europe. The Kiruna mine which ABB has been linked to since it first provided electrical engineering more than a century ago, is one of the world’s largest and most modern underground mines for iron ore on a vast site with increasingly advanced sorting, concentrating and pelletizing plants.

Northern Sweden continues to lead the way in setting standards for the journey towards the carbon-free mining and minerals industry of the future, powered by a ready supply of clean, renewable energy sources. LKAB is moving for zero carbon dioxide emissions from their own processes and products by 2045 and is part of a competitive innovation cluster in Sweden for the production and processing of metals and minerals for climate-efficient quality products.

The small iron ore pellets, manufactured by LKAB and supplied to steelmaking customers, are typically used instead of larger pieces of iron (sinter) in the furnace stage, reducing energy consumption, waste and emissions in the mills. Due to their size and mineral content, they also help to increase steelmaking productivity with lower maintenance and wear. The supply chain is part of LKAB’s commitment to developing and improving carbon-free processes and products.

ABB has overall responsibility for the installation, commissioning and project management of the technologies, which will be used for greater control and monitoring of the plant process than was possible beforehand. The major upgrade will rely on ABB’s MNS Switchgears® – integrated with ABB Ability™ System 800xA distributed control system (DCS) – low energy ACS 880 drives and transformers. The modern switchgears are built on a scalable platform, meaning engineering teams can tailor them to suit LKAB’s specific objectives and see what is happening inside them through smart communications links with operators.

  • ABB's MNS® switchgears - integrated with the distributed control system ABB Ability™ System 800xA - are built on a scalable platform, which means that the engineering teams can tailor them to suit LKAB's specific goals and see what is happening in them through smart communication links with the operators.
  • LKAB's Kiruna mine is one of the world's largest and most modern underground iron ore mines. ABB has been linked to this since the company first supplied electrical engineering more than a hundred years ago

“By installing intelligent switchgear models connected to the ABB automation system we’re ensuring the long-term safety of our people and the security of continued low-maintenance production in our plants in Kiruna,” said Jörgen Aidanpää, Project Manager, LKAB. “This is a large electrification upgrade and by working with ABB we’ve ensured reliability and secured expertise that we know will result in success together. We’re looking forward to completing this project phase in a timely manner so our wider mission can be achieved.”

“ABB and LKAB are geographically and technologically linked in a part of Sweden that’s showing a way forward in decarbonized, efficient operations and we’re pleased to have the chance to support on part of this journey,” said Erik Kjellgren, Strategic Account Manager, ABB. “It contributes not only to LKAB’s and Kiruna’s ongoing success but is a model for how incremental phased upgrades should take place, with minimal disturbance to operations and to ensure safety, reliability and improved performance.”

ABB is committed to creating sustainable progress for today and for future generations by helping mining customers through the energy transition. This aligns with the ABB Sustainability Strategy 2030 to achieve carbon neutrality in ABB operations by the next decade, but also support customers to reduce their annual CO₂ emissions by at least 100 megatons, equivalent to the annual emissions of 30 million combustion cars.

ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on more than 130 years of excellence, ABB’s ~105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.

ABB’s Process Automation business is a leader in automation, electrification and digitalization for the process and hybrid industries. We serve our customers with a broad portfolio of products, systems, and end-to-end solutions, including our # 1 distributed control system, software, and lifecycle services, industry-specific products as well as measurement and analytics and marine offerings. As the global #2 in the market, we build on our deep domain expertise, diverse team and global footprint, and are dedicated to helping our customers increase competitiveness, improve their return on investment and run safe, smart, and sustainable operations.


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