Wärtsilä wins a 10-year contract for power plant maintenance and services for Newcrest’s Lihir Gold, in Papua New Guinea. Above, Wärtsilä engines in a power plant. (Photo: Wärtsilä)

Newcrest Mining’s Lihir Gold Ltd. awarded technology group Wärtsilä a 10-year, $183 million contract for power plant maintenance and operations advisory services. The agreement includes full technical support, real-time monitoring of the equipment, condition-based maintenance and asset diagnostic reporting, operational advisory support, and all planned and unplanned maintenance of the generator sets and auxiliaries.

The 170-megawatt (MW) power plant provides a critical electricity supply to the mine. It has 22 Wärtsilä engines. The last was commissioned in 2013.

The agreement, which goes into effect at the end of Q1 2021, has shared business case incentives targeting fuel and oil consumption and power availability metrics. They are designed to reduce operational cost, enhance power availability and support production targets.

Wärtsilä’s track record in Papau New Guinea, where the mine is located, merited the agreement, Lihir said. “This is a flexible solution that delivers incentives and benefits to both parties,” Daniel May, manager, utilities, Lihir, said.

By total gold produced annually, Lihir is one of the top gold mines in the world.