Bullmine Project

Santiago, Chile

Successful manufacturer of motor-driven pump units meeting NFPA standards for oil & gas applications, both off-shore and on-shore – supplied General Electric International with a turnkey set in 2014 installed at a mining site in Tamagural Province, Tamagural Region, in Santiago, Chile.

It was a rather complex project due to the distance between in the intake point in the ocean and the mine on one hand and the severe environmental conditions on the other, which consolidated Intergen’s experience in designing, supplying equipment and materials, assistance during construction and assembly of the plant up to commissioning, for turnkey contracts.

The specifications called for the construction of a saltwater pumping system with a delivery of 150 litres per second complete with piping and electromechanical infrastructures needed to transport the water to an iodine mine located 60 km away at 1,200 metres above sea level. The industrial process requires enormous amounts of water to dissolve the iodine compounds from the salt crystals contained in it which was not available near the mine.

Given the impossibility of connecting the pumps to the local electricity distribution grid due to the significant electrical power needed, the original project included the supply of four diesel generating sets which would have supplied energy to the two main electric pumps, ancillary systems and the two saltwater suction pumps.

Feasibility study

Following technical consultation with GE the project was changed and a seawater pumping system was created with a motor-driven pump run by a diesel engine. The direct activation, skipping the intermediate step through the generating sets, made it possible to increase the overall efficiency of the pumping system from 27% of the original design to the current 35%, consequently resulting in a significant reduction in fuel consumption.

In addition a remote monitoring system was included making it possible to control the pumping system to prevent interruptions.

What we did

The motor-driven pump supplied by Intergen is composed of: