KBR has been awarded a contract to upgrade Rio Tinto’s fuel assets as part of the mining company’s investment in power and fuel supply projects for its iron ore mines in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

KBR’s minerals division will provide engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services to install fuel assets and storage in five locations: port facilities at Cape Lambert and Dampier, mines at Brockman and West Angelas and a maintenance yard located near Dampier. The infrastructure will help provide certainty in meeting Rio Tinto’s fuel requirements.

Once the project is complete, Rio Tinto’s fuel network in the Pilbara region will use the company’s rail network to transport diesel to hubs for storage and further distribution to mines and power generation facilities. This will reduce the requirement for road trains to transport fuel on public roads from Port Hedland, 400 km to the north.

“KBR is glad to have this opportunity to expand our support to an important customer,” said Mark Read, president, KBR Minerals. “We will draw on our global network of people to provide the resources to complete this project, which will be an integral part of Rio Tinto’s 333 expansion program.”

KBR has been involved in projects in the remote Pilbara for more than 30 years. The fuel infrastructure project follows KBR’s completion of a definitive engineering study for Rio Tinto that defined the diesel storage and transfer facilities required to support the company’s expansion in the Pilbara.