Cat gas gensets used in coal mine methane gas production.

Maximizing Available Fuel Resources at Mining Sites

Mine operators around the world have found that natural gas power plants can reliably support the operations associated with mining minerals such as copper, iron ore, gold and silver.

Cat® Dealers support mining customers by offering:

  • World-class load transient response capability
  • Power plant design and logistics support
  • On-site maintenance and repair services

For coal mining operations, coal mine methane (CMM) gas is a byproduct of coal formations in subterranean coal seams, and is released before or during active coal mining. Caterpillar has developed generator sets specifically for use with CMM gas. Implementing methods to use this gas as an alternative fuel can help:

  • Improve mine safety
  • Mitigate carbon dioxide release into the atmosphere
  • Reduce electricity costs
  • Generate revenue

How It Works

Many mining operations take place in remote parts of the world where access to large electric utility feeds is either unavailable or requires significant investments in electrical transmission and distribution. Many of these same sites have easier access to a natural gas infrastructure, while others have discovered that liquefied natural has (LNG) is a cost-saving fuel alternative.

For coal mines, CMM emissions can be significantly decreased through the recovery and utilization of drained gas. The CMM is sequestered and used for fuel in reciprocating gas engine generator sets. This mature and proven technology is highly effective for gas mitigation and power generation.

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