ACTOM installs gensets at Panama mine

PRESS RELEASE: ACTOM Turbo Machines has installed 150MW turbo generator sets for a mine in the Donoso District, Republic of Panama, demonstrating its ability to provide complete electro-mechanical solutions
ACTOM installs gensets at Panama mine ACTOM installs gensets at Panama mine ACTOM installs gensets at Panama mine ACTOM installs gensets at Panama mine ACTOM installs gensets at Panama mine

Actom Turbo Machines fitting the 15t, 150MW Skoda Doosan turbine rotor

Staff reporter

The turbo generator sets will power this new large open-pit copper mining operation.

Securing what was the first international contract to have been won by ACTOM Turbo Machines can be attributed in part to the longstanding relationship between Marthinusen & Coutts, also an ACTOM division, and the customer, as well as its established track record of successes on previous projects for this mining company. It is also noteworthy that this contract was secured against tough international competition. 

ACTOM Turbo Machines was contracted for the mechanical installation of two Skoda Doosan (Czech Republic) 150MW turbo generator sets, which each comprised an integrated high pressure and intermediate-pressure turbine, a low pressure turbine, a Siemens generator, a radial condenser, and auxiliaries.

ACTOM Turbo Machines was responsible for the installation of the centreline of the turbo generator sets, which started with the inspection of the civil works, followed by the systematic assembly of the turbo generator’s in the form of transportable components and sub-assemblies. As the OEM only supplied an Installation Quality Controller, ACTOM Turbo Machines installation crew’s expertise was pivotal to the successful installation of the turbo generator sets.

The tropical region’s high rainfall and open building also placed extreme strain on the schedule. The turbo generators’ house was largely open, and only equipped with a 40t overhead crane, whereas the larger assemblies and components, such as the HP-IP double turbine and the LP turbine components weighed 125t and 161t, respectively. 

Weather permitting, ACTOM Turbo Machines made use of crawler cranes to install these larger components. To avoid fouling of the equipment due to the high humidity, ACTOM Turbo Machines had to practice extreme caution when handling and preserving components during installation. 

The remoteness of the site required ACTOM Turbo Machines to carefully plan and supply certain essential equipment, such as highly specialised laser levelling and alignment equipment.

The project also proved bureaucratic difficulties, as ACTOM Turbo Machines’ personnel needed police clearance and temporary citizenship in Panama to be able to work on the project. 

According to John Squire, ACTOM Turbo Machines’ site manager, projects like these require technical crews with in depth knowledge of rotating equipment, and the ability to perform with high-precision in remote sites.

He concluded: “All challenges were overcome by ensuring that we had the necessary resources available on site and on time, as well as readily having the appropriate people with the correct skill sets.”