BHP Nickel West

Kalgoorlie, Western Australia

BEC Engineering designed a switchboard replacement and multiple arc flash protection systems across ageing switchgear the Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter and Kambalda Nickel Concentrator.

The works included design of new Disc Filter MCC and associated VSDs, PLC and SCADA systems at the Kambalda Nickel Concentrator.

New arc flash protection relays, light sensors, current transformers and control cabling were installed at the:

  • Power Distribution (31-B1 11 kV Switchboard)
  • Power Generation (32-D1/D2 11 kV Switchboards)
  • Gas Cooling and Cleaning (05-E1/E2 415 V MCC)
  • Concentrate Handling (01-E5 415 V MCC)
  • Effluent Treatment (41-D01 415 V MCC)
  • Oxygen Production (35-B31 415 V MCC)
  • Hot Gas Fan (37-D04 415 V VSD)

The Client is systematically upgrading and replacing site switchboards to provide long term reliability of supply and improved safety outcomes. BEC Engineering have ongoing involvement with site personnel to ensure these objectives are met.

The site has a very complicated schedule for shutdown of equipment and impact on operations. This resulted carefully planning for personnel availability and design completion.

As with many mature sites, obtaining accurate site data and finding sufficient real estate presented additional difficulties.

BEC Engineering worked with the Client to overcome these issues.

The replacement Disc Filter MCC was energised in November 2019.

The arc flash installations are ongoing with new switchboards retrofitted at every shutdown.