Electrical equipment group Zest WEG suppliers mining and customised mobile generators and substations, as well as modular pre-manufactured substations and electric house (E-house) solutions capable of fulfilling energy needs while also helping to overcome the logistical constraints that many African mining projects face.
Zest WEG Integrated Solutions executive Alastair Gerrard, says their modular and mobile solutions offer an alternative to the traditional fixed type energy solutions which ensure more flexibility and are reliable.
Built-in accordance to client needs or site-specific requirements, Zest WEG provides power generation solutions, electrical infrastructure solutions as well as mobile solutions (generators and substations), able to meet the specific needs of customers that are still in the process of exploration, site establishment or orebody development.
Zest WEG has undertaken projects for a mining company in the DRC, which had access to some grid power supply to start mining activities but were still planning for additional power to undertake and sustain future development at the mine.
Using a Zest WEG manufactured mobile substation, the company was able to access the energy from the grid and provide the mining company with the necessary power needed to begin construction and mining activities.
Zest WEG has also worked with a gold mining company in South Africa where it developed a mobile diesel-powered generator set solution to enable the mining company to have a readily available emergency power supply at several of its mineshafts.
The gold mining company reconsidered its initial plan to establish permanent, fixed, diesel power stations at each of the shafts, and instead chose to use mobile diesel generators because of the relatively close proximity of these shafts to one another.
Having supplied mobile solutions for over 10 years, Zeg WEG maintains that these solutions continue to provide a good opportunity for them in the African mining market, where the mitigation of risks associated with on-site work is crucial.
Zest WEG has seen a growing trend in the deployment of modular, pre-manufactured containerised substation and E-house solutions, owing to their indirect cost savings and ease of on-site establishment. This is a more attractive solution, compared to traditional brick and mortar solutions, specifically for clients in Africa who want to limit risks and establish solutions on-site as quickly as possible.
There is, none the less, a similar growing trend within local South African operations for similar reasons.
The pre-manufactured container substation solutions are housed in standard 6 m or 12 m shipping containers, with no limit to the configuration of these, whereas the company’s pre-manufactured E-house solutions – the more custom-engineered of the two solutions – are custom designed, engineered and manufactured accordingly in any ‘transport splittable’ configuration and to any size.
Unlike the majority of companies that participate in the containerised and modular E-house sector, which are mechanical companies outsourcing to electrical original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs); Zest WEG is in a unique position in that it is one of the very few OEMs that has both the electrical skills base and the mechanical manufacturing capability.
When delivered to site, the pre-manufactured, preassembled and interconnected structure (which has already undergone a factory acceptance test by the client) is offloaded, placed into position (reconnected – in the case of the more complex E-houses) and secured to the civil interface on site.
Installation and connection on-site will vary from a maximum of 10 days for a very complex pre-manufactured E-House to as little as one day for a simpler pre-manufactured substation. This is a significant reduction in both time and risk compared with brick and mortar building construction on site.
Zest WEG has delivered in excess of 23 pre-manufactured E-house solutions to the market, in various applications.
This includes a pumping application at an underground gold mining operation in Ghana, a conveyor application at an underground coal mine in South Africa; as well as a combination of an E-house and pre-manufactured containerised solution for a catalytic converter manufacturer in South Africa.