Wärtsilä powers Fekola hybrid project

Finnish marine and energy tech group Wärtsilä is partnering with Canadian miner B2Gold to optimise the energy system at the Fekola gold mine in southwestern Mali
Wärtsilä powers Fekola hybrid project Wärtsilä powers Fekola hybrid project Wärtsilä powers Fekola hybrid project Wärtsilä powers Fekola hybrid project Wärtsilä powers Fekola hybrid project

The energy storage system at Fekola in Mali will be optimised based on Wärtsilä’s GEMS solution

The project includes the design and engineering of a 17-megawatt (MW), 15-megawatt-hour (MWh) energy storage system built upon Wärtsilä's GEMS energy management system.

"The significant cost savings and improved power reliability it offers were key considerations in the award of the contract," the group's officials said.

The GEMS technology will also control a new 30MW solar plant currently under construction.

"GEMS will continuously optimise energy production for the entire mine. This will ensure the lowest levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for the mine, while at the same time securing grid stability and maximising uptime," the company said.

The miner, which booked the order in November, is aiming to improve operations, reduce fuel consumption and lessen carbon emissions.

Fekola currently uses conventional fuel liquids for power.

B2Gold project manager Jan Clausen said it selected Wärtsilä because of its regional and hybrid plant experience.

"We wanted to optimise full electricity generation at the mine using solar and energy storage," Clausen said.

Wärtsilä said the work at the mine was the first hybrid project between the two companies.

No financial details for the project were disclosed, and the companies did not indicate when the project would be completed.