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Features Zurich, Switzerland 10-11-2020

3 min read

Hitachi ABB Power Grids supports LKAB’s vision to create the sustainable mine of the future

Enabling one of Sweden’s oldest industrial companies to realize its vision of sustainable mining and double capacity after 2030 while optimizing energy requirement. 

Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ experts have collaborated with Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag (LKAB), the international high-tech mining and mineral group, on a joint vision to create the next generation of sustainable mines. This represents one of the largest industrial investments in Sweden's history, to transform LKAB's power system to become more accessible, efficient and flexible. 

LKAB has been mining ore in the north of Sweden for over 100 years. As part of its development, the company is now planning to break the ore even deeper into the rock. While this will increase production by almost fifty percent, it also comes with some challenges. LKAB is committed to sustainability and the business aims to create carbon-neutral production whilst at the same time, reducing their energy consumption.  

LKAB have enlisted the support of Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ consulting experts who bring a strong background in advising companies around the world on decisions and issues related to power and energy. The global technology leader has conducted a strategic analysis around the long and short-term measures required by LKAB to fulfil their vision. 

“Our experts are excited to be collaborating with LKAB to develop a bespoke solution that will contribute to their vision of more sustainable mining and to the overall progress of the industry,” said Daniel Galvan, Head of Power Consulting of Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ Grid Integration business unit. 

"Our aim is to secure our power supply, lower our energy consumption and move to sustainably produced energy, however, this desire for change presents its own challenges,” said Per Tomas Uusitalo, project manager at LKAB. He continued, “For example, we wanted to start using electrified vehicles in the mine, but this requires charging stations and a safer, more reliable power supply. Hitachi ABB Power Grids helped us to work through these challenges and developed a plan that turned our vision into reality."  

An important part of the work of Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ consultants is carrying out system studies in collaborative working groups with LKAB. Hundreds of digital models of power systems and different scenarios are developed and tested for the design and configuration to meet the future needs of the energy system in the mine. Hitachi ABB Power Grids are providing LKAB with the optimum solutions needed early in the decision-making process based on the results obtained from the analysis. For example, it is possible to assess the impact upon the distribution network of deploying electric vehicles and chargers for a future electric fleet. Evaluation of the need for supporting supply sources such as battery storage or microgrids and how they should be designed is also being undertaken, presenting the customer with a comprehensive portfolio of different possibilities.  

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