ABB awarded $103 million order for world’s largest iron mine in Brazil

Mine of the future to be fitted with complete truckless transport system controlled by intelligent digital substations to reduce emissions and cut fuel costs

London/Zurich, September 9, 2014 - ABB has won a $103 million contract from Brazilian mining company Vale to install electrical and automation systems at a modern iron ore mine in the Carajás mountains of northern Brazil as part of a major capacity expansion.

This order follows a previous $140 million contract won by ABB to complete the first phase of the S11D project, supplying and installing automation and electrical equipment for the process plant that separates the ore from the spoil material.

With this order, ABB will supply a 230 kilovolt in-feed substation to connect the mine to the electricity grid as well as 42 secondary substations. These secondary substations will be contained in ABB's e-houses, prefabricated, walk-in, modular, outdoor enclosures designed to house a range of electrical and automation equipment. ABB will also supply the motors driving the mine's conveyor belts.

Vale is developing a sustainable mine of the future in the Amazon. The S11D will still represent an industry vanguard in 20 to 30 years. To achieve this, ABB has developed highly customized solutions and has the capability to successfully deploy these solutions on massive scale.

"I'm proud that ABB and Vale's close relationship over more than 10 years has culminated in this pioneering project that sets a new standard in productivity, sustainability and safety," said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB's Process Automation division. "Cross-divisional collaboration on this project is enabling tight power and automation integration, a key differentiator for ABB."

ABB's first contract for S11D, announced in September 2012, required the installation and successful commissioning of the primary transmission substation, the first of its kind in Brazil.

With this next phase, ABB has now been asked to extend the electrification system to the excavators, stackers, reclaimers and conveyor-belt system at the mine itself.

Truckless transportation will use conveyor belts to move rock and ore around the site with lower carbon emissions, reduced operating costs and greater safety than the truck-based system it is replacing. This is the first time such a solution will have been used on a large scale at an iron ore mine.

If the S11D mine were to be operated using conventional means, it would need around 100 off-highway trucks that consume 77 percent more diesel per year.

The S11D Carajás ore deposit is expected to reach a peak production capacity of 90 million tons annually. Vale is the largest producer of iron ore in the world and Brazil ranks third in global iron ore production.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.

For help with any technical terms in this release, please go to:


Contact us


Share this article

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter WhatsApp