The first of 15 wind turbine blades will be trucked 630 km across Western Australia (WA) on Monday, to a remote mine site in the State’s Northern Goldfields.
Constructed and shipped from China to the WA port of Geraldton via a Dutch bulk cargo vessel, Danzigergracht, it will take the Agnew gold mine around two weeks to receive the 66-meter-long blade.
Described by James Harman, the chief executive of EDL which is implementing the project, trucking the giant components across the vast terrain will be far from easy.
“We have a very detailed plan to truck them out, special machinery, special trucks that can handle the wind turbines, and the blades,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“It will be quite an engineering feat. It’s been done in other places around the world but this is a first for a mine site in Australia,” Harman said.
“We’re confident it will all go smoothly. Complex but smooth,” he added.
Owned by South African mining giant Gold Fields, when the 76-million-U.S. dollar wind power project is completed by mid-2020, it will allow the Agnew mine to generate over 60 percent of its power via renewable energy, the company’s Executive Vice President of Australasia Stuart Mathews said.
“We’re actually building the concrete foundations for those now,” Harman said.
“They’re quite substantial because these wind turbines are going to reach about 160 meters in height,” he said.
“The wind energy will provide the biggest power lift for us,” he added.