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Anglo American's Australian Coal division engaged Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment [Mackay] to deliver 8 specialised underground pumping PODs used for various dewatering applications at their Grosvenor Coal Mine, located 190km southwest of Mackay in Moranbah, Central Queensland.
The Grosvenor mine is a developing underground longwall operation that makes up part of Anglo American's plan to triple hard coking coal production at their Moranbah mine sites. Located next to their existing Moranbah North coal mine, Grosvenor is set to produce up to 5 million tonnes of hard coking coal per annum for export. The Grosvenor mine utilises a 10km overland conveyor to transport high-quality metallurgical coal to the Moranbah North Coal Handling & Preparation Plant.
Construction on Anglo American's $1.95 billion Grosvenor longwall project began back in January 2013, with the development celebrating a number of industry firsts including being the first underground coal mine in Queensland to use a tunnel boring machine to develop the drifts, or access tunnels, in coal mine development. Anglo American aimed to have the Grosvenor mine raise the bar for onsite system and production efficiency - making the supply of unique underground POD pumping systems a perfect match for Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment's experienced Engineering Department.
Dowdens Engineering Department's comprehensive abilities have been on the radar of many Central Queensland/Bowen Basin mines for some time through direct contact and working with industry leading consulting engineering firms. Dowdens ability to expertly design/manufacture/install and commission unique equipment built to specific client needs, together with a history of successful installations over the past 15 years in the Bowen Basin has positioned the business as Queensland's premier pumping & water treatment organisation.
Underground Pumping PODs are used in mines as part of the site water management process. Mine water is collected from sumps and wet areas by Wilden air operated diaphragm pumps and delivered to PODs where water level sensors then activate the pump and transfer the collected mine water to a mains pump station, underground storage dam or directly out of the mine portal. Mine water is typically dirty with coal fine, rocks and dirt; therefore slurry pumps are needed to handle such water. PODs can be located in hazardous areas and can be fitted with Flame proof motors and motor controllers with PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) and SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition).
The Grosvenor mine site requirements meant each POD needed to have a 200kW power rating. With the site's physical constraints (i.e. the underground mined roof height and width, as well as the site lifting equipment for transporting) meant careful consideration was required for the overhung load whilst transporting this equipment. Capacity of a standard Dowdens POD is 4m3 with a 110kW motor, however with the larger flow rate required to and from the POD meant a 6m3 capacity working volume was needed. Bigger capacity and higher duty equated to a larger size motor and pump, more robust steel framework and additional accessibility for scheduled servicing.
Dowdens standard POD design incorporates a dirty water receiving area. This area, integral to the main hopper (container for collection of bulk material such as rock or soil), ensures particles that are too large for the pump to digest and transport are separated and manually removed periodically ensuring trouble free pumping.
Pumps selected by Dowdens for this harsh duty were Stalker 400SHD model with mechanical seals, seal lubrication and cooling. Motors selected were WEG brand Flameproof mine spec motors. The control for the pumps is a flameproof 200kW model with PLC and HMI (Human Machine Interface) screens. The controller starts and stops the pump, whilst also monitoring for faults and relaying important information to the mine surface via SCADA. Dowdens PODs built for the Grosvenor mine have the ability of easily interchanging the motors/pumps for differing duties. These will be identified as 200kW and 132kW cassettes. To accommodate this change the Main Control Unit (MCU) has the capacity to operate at either 200kW or 132kW with only slight changes to load controls.
The larger size and the flexibility to change the duty, together with Dowdens strategic POD site placement advice has enabled Anglo American less manoeuvring of the POD through development, saving costly underground labour and downtime. Without reliable pumping the mine's production slows/halts causing delays and safety issues which cost the mine many thousands of dollars each day. It was imperative the system worked and was extremely reliable. This project was delivered on time and within budget. Key project system components are listed below:
Unique features specific to the 8x Underground Dewatering Grosvenor PODs included:
Key Project Features:
Peabody Energy Australia have engaged Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment's [Mackay] Engineering Department & Fabrication Workshop to deliver a Specialised Pontoon Pumping System for use at their Moorvale Coal Mine, located 156 kilometres South West of Mackay, QLD. This project presented a number of challenges for the Dowdens Mackay engineering and fabrication staff, including but not limited to an extremely tight delivery timeline of only 8 weeks!
Peabody Energy's Moorvale Mine is an open-cut coal mine that produces low-volatile pulverized coal injection (PCI) coal, coking coal and thermal coal for export markets. The Moorvale Coal Mine is particularly challenging for its operators due to the coal seam being quite narrow with a number of fault lines. This requires excavators often having to work in confined areas. The three piles that make up the Moorvale coal seams are mined independently of each other.
Dowdens Specialised Pontoon Pumping System was needed to provide Peabody Energy more reliable access to good quality Raw Water from an on-site dam. This raw dam water was then to be pumped directly to the onsite Coal Handling & Preparation Plant (CHPP). The existing supply water was limited and of poor quality. Dowdens new pontoon pumping system allowed for an increased volume of water to be pumped from a dam containing higher quality raw water. Subsequently the Specialised Pontoon Pumping System that Dowdens supplied has helped facilitate an improvement in the CHPP's daily operations.
"This particular project had a tight lead & build delivery timeline (approximately 8 weeks). During this time Dowdens were in regular contact with us, the project coordination and regular contact I received from Dowdens Engineers enabled me to better plan for the delivery and installation of the gangway and pontoon, which required a 100 tonne crane to be booked and ready onsite for the unloading and installation.
Dowdens Engineering Department was prompt and professional in helping resolve revisions in the project scope. The design and the way the pontoon was packaged and delivered added to the "Zero Incidents" achievement during the installation of the Pontoon on site. I was satisfied with the product, price and customer service provided by Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment - Mackay "
This project required both Dowdens Engineering Dept. & Fabrication Teams to deliver an innovative solution not previously attempted in-house. It was the first time Dowdens had manufactured 12m length gangways or a pontoon with a total weight of over 6 tonne. The total pontoon weight includes all steel work, flooring, pumps, piping etc. and is displaced using HDPE (high density polyethylene) Floats. The longest gangway Dowdens had supplied previously measured 8m in length, with the largest pontoon previously fabricated weighing in at 4.5 tonnes.
The new system meant Dowdens existing in-house designs had to be modified / improved with new floats being selected in order to safely carry the increased platform weight. Additional weight saving measures were implemented by Dowdens Engineers such as the use of light weight / high strength aluminium mesh flooring.
The timeline to design this pontoon pumping solution, manufacture the components and have them delivered to site was extremely tight. Engineering - Concept Design - Drawings & In-House Fabrication of the unique Pontoon Pumping System was completed & delivered to Moorvale Mine within their specified 8 week time frame!
No other pumping / manufacturing / engineering firm in Queensland are able to deliver such an all-encompassing product solution within the above mentioned time-frame.
Dowdens design philosophy for this project was: Fast Turnaround - Cost Effectiveness - Ease of Installation - Simple Plant Operation - Plant Reliability & Reduced Maintenance.
Key Project Features:
Kurrajong Pastoral Company have engaged Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment [Rockhampton branch] to design, install and commission a large solar powered stock watering system on one of their rural properties located near Alpha, QLD.
The solar powered stock watering system is required to transfer onsite bore water to existing water storage tanks. These water tanks are used by Kurrajong Pastoral Co. primarily to water the 1,000 head of cattle onsite.
Kurrajong Pastoral Co. specified each head of cattle was to be allocated a minimum of 10gal per day (approx. 45L/day), meaning the pumping system needed to deliver over 10,000gal per day (45,461L).
Water is pumped from the 5" onsite bore (pump set at 35m) with 75m total head into 3 storage tanks via poly line pipe.
The Kurrajong Pastoral Co. solar pumping system was designed to keep overall operating costs down whilst still delivering a regular supply of water to cattle with negligible ongoing service or labour required. Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment [Rockhampton] designed the system to be more cost effective than running additional wiring and connecting any onsite pumps to mains power.
The new solar pump replaces a B Head Mono Column and Shaft pump - originally powered by an onsite diesel engine. Dowdens solar powered system has thereby significantly lowered the environmental footprint of the entire pumping system.
Key Project Features:
Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment [Mackay] have delivered yet another Soft Hose Travelling Irrigator to a local Sarina Sugarcane Farmer.
Harvey Matsen [pictured below] operates a 100ha sugarcane farm in Sarina. Due to the lack of rainfall during the 2014/15 growing season he decided to purchase a TRAILCO T-450-2 Soft Hose Travelling Irrigator to better manage the irrigation of his cane.
Wanting to purchase his new irrigator from a local business Harvey sought the services of the Dowdens Mackay Agricultural Sales Team - one of the most experienced Ag sales teams in Australia, with over 125 years of combined irrigation system design and operational experience between them. As a company that has built its foundation on the servicing and development of agricultural pumping systems, Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment have the experience to engineer a solution to suit any agricultural application. For over 40 years Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment have been selling & servicing irrigation products throughout Central & Northern Queensland - designing each and every system to improve farming efficiencies, reduce downtime and increase the longevity of pumps / irrigators.
Jeff Roberts from the Dowdens Mackay Agricultural Sales Team visited Harvey's farm on a number of occasions to investigate, design and then match an irrigator and irrigation plan to best suit the property. Taking into consideration the terrain, existing pump capabilities and source water availability Jeff suggested Harvey purchase a TRAILCO T-450-2 Soft Hose Travelling Irrigator with irrigation gun.
Harvey has access to pressurised irrigation water from the nearby Kinchant Dam. At farm door the dam feed water arrives at between 20 - 30psi. With the TRAILCO T-450-2 Soft Hose Travelling Irrigator needing a higher pressure to operate efficiently Dowdens utilised the farm's existing Power-Take-Off (PTO) Tractor driven booster pump, raising the feed water to over 70psi.
The T-450-2 is able to apply 50mm of water onto a 2ha area of cane whilst travelling along 300m of 4" soft hose - delivering 22.5L/sec @ 70psi.
Together with flood irrigation (using the gravity fed Kinchant Dam feed water), an existing travelling irrigator and the new T-450-2 Harvey can now irrigate his property in half the time. In times of low rainfall when young cane is most vulnerable to dry soil conditions, Harvey can now irrigate his young cane faster ensuring they take root quicker and go on to deliver a better overall yield.
The T-450-2 is an extremely efficient and reliable soft hose travelling irrigator - so much so it can easily pull Harvey's tractor towards it as it travels down the feed hose on an irrigating run [pictured below].