ABB recently won an order to deliver a comprehensive process and power solution that will double the capacity of KAZ Minerals’ sulphide ore processing plant in Aktogay, Kazakhstan. The project is the third major order from this customer and will reuse the engineering and solution configuration from the company’s two other production lines in the area. KAZ Minerals is the largest copper producer in Kazakhstan.

The processing facilities in Aktogay produce copper in concentrate from a nearby open-pit mine, to meet the growing global demand for copper for infrastructure, e-mobility and consumer industries, including electronics. ABB’s delivery is part of a $1.2 billion expansion that will double the current annual sulphide ore processing capability at this site from 25 million to 50 million tons. In addition to sulphide ore, the company also processes around 12 million tons per year of oxide ore.

ABB will provide its ABB Ability MineOptimize integrated process and power control solution, which includes all process control and electrification equipment and infrastructure for the plant. The control solution is a framework that encompasses engineering, systems, applications and services to help miners achieve the most efficient design, build and operation of any open-pit, underground, mineral processing or refining facility. With digitalization at its heart, it provides the ideal platform to fine-tune new or existing processes to reach top performance levels.

ABB’s scope of supply for this project includes its digital automation system ABB Ability System 800xA, as well as three gearless mill-drive systems, and a high-pressure grinding roll to grind the increased amount of ore that will be processed in this expansion. The delivery also includes distribution transformers and substations, motor control centers, medium- and low-voltage drives, mineral processing specific applications, and other automation and electrical equipment. Furthermore, ABB will provide project engineering, installation and commissioning services, and ongoing remote monitoring and diagnostic services.

This upgrade will deliver numerous operational and safety benefits for this project, according to ABB. It will monitor, control and manage all aspects of production, access critical information from system devices, and provide detailed data analytics to determine process efficiency and identify opportunities for improvement. It will also monitor and manage energy distribution and consumption at this and other KAZ Minerals sites. The new plant is scheduled for first production in late 2021.