Westgold Resources has executed a new electricity purchase agreement with independent power provider Pacific Energy and a new LNG supply agreement with Clean Energy Fuels Australia (CEFA).
Aiming to deliver substantial operating cost savings in financial year FY24 onwards of about $100 per pounce (at the current diesel price), the deals support the company’s commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives that will reduce its long term greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the build-own-operate agreement with Pacific Energy, Westgold will materially reduce diesel consumption by replacing six diesel-fired power stations with four new, highly efficient gas-fired power stations, which will incorporate renewable energy options and utilise solar power and battery storage across the Bryah and Murchison operations in Western Australia.
Critically for Westgold, this transition to a mixed generation platform includes renewables and gas and is expected to reduce carbon emissions from diesel powered generators by over 57 per cent, due to the higher integration of renewables and cleaner fuel.
Westgold’s first new Pacific Energy power station will be commissioned in July 2023 at the Tuckabianna processing hub, with the three additional new power plants scheduled for commissioning from September 2023.
Meanwhile, CEFA will supply Westgold from its expanded LNG plant located at Mt Magnet.
This plant is currently providing LNG to another Pacific Energy power plant in the Murchison region and provides a substantial advantage due to its close proximity to Westgold’s operations.
CEFA will fund and construct satellite LNG facilities (primarily comprising LNG storage and re-gasification equipment) at Westgold’s project sites, with the LNG trucked direct from Mt Magnet.
The new gas and solar power station to be commissioned at Westgold’s Meekatharra operations will also serve to simplify power generation by removing smaller diesel fired power stations at Paddy’s Flat and Bluebird underground mines and providing them power from a larger gas-fired power station via overhead powerlines.
Westgold managing director Wayne Bramwell said the transition to a cleaner, more efficient energy platform that utilises renewables and gas in FY23 was strategic for Westgold.
“It is an important step in meeting our ESG targets but is pivotal to reducing the operating cost of our business,” he said.