18 March 2019
In early 2016, EGAT issued a tender for its Overburden Removal System Phase 8 for the Mae Moh lignite mine in Thailand. From the beginning, a close dialogue began with the customer, Sahakol Equipment Public Company Ltd, to find the best solution and to meet the very short completion time, with operations hoping to start in mid-April 2018. “With no time to waste, Sahakol and FLSmidth finalised the contract for the Conveyor System Phase 8 several weeks after EGAT awarded Sahakol the Mae Moh 8 Phase 8 contract.”
“The first step was an analysis of the conditions and requirements of the mines and the expectations of the customer. The design and project scope was then developed to closely reflect the specificities of the task. The conveyor system for Phase 8 was ambitious: It included 12 conveyors with belt widths of 2.2 m and 2.6 m and a rated capacity of 17,500 t/h and 27,600 t/h. The conveyors are 12.6 km long and are equipped with 40 drives of 1,750 and 2,000 kW”, says Helmut Oberrisser, the Project Director of the whole system.
FLSmidth started engineering in the middle of September 2016, even before the Supply and Erection Contact became effective in mid-December that year. Planning and executing became key, with Oberrisser explaining the complexity needed to deliver on time: “Mechanical engineering was made in house, with the electrical engineering completed in cooperation with the main subcontractor, Siemens Austria. The steel structure was fabricated with our long-term partner Chiefnew in China.”
He adds: “The complete conveyor drives were purchased from Siemens so that mechanics, electrical and control were from one source to avoid interface problems. Most mechanical and electrical
components were procured in Europe. Transformers were fabricated and electric houses were assembled in Thailand, and we used the local erection contractor VTEC for the erection and installation. This enabled us to adapt manpower in line with the challenging time schedule and to provide project added value to Thailand.”
This meant that even though nearly all major mechanical and electrical components had long lead times and thus were on the critical path of completion plan, FLSmidth and Sahakol could start load commissioning on 31 January 2018 and achieved the start of the operation on 1 March 2018 – one and a half months ahead of schedule.
Sasavat Sirison, the CEO of Sahakol Equipment Public Company Ltd, commented: “This is the largest conveyor equipment that has ever been delivered to Thailand. The project was completed ahead of time, taking less than two years from the signing of the contract with Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) for the Mae Moh Overburden Removal Phase 8 operation. “FLSmidth is the leading supplier of quality mining equipment and this is one of the reasons why we chose them as the supplier. We are very happy with the delivery and implementation time for the conveyor, the close cooperation between Sahakol and FLSmidth and we are looking forward to a continued partnership with FLSmidth in the years ahead.”
“It is a great success story about good teamwork and cooperation between all the companies,” continues Oberrisser. “This outstanding performance was only achievable by the high motivation and engagement of FLSmidth and Sahakol project teams and the excellent cooperation through all phases of the project execution. With this special spirit the teams have managed all challenges, problems and difficulties focusing on the common goal – completing the conveyor system on or ahead of time but without compromising on safety equipment and system quality.”