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February 26, 2013

ABB commissions first line of Northland’s Kaunisvaara iron ore mine

Gerald Ondrey

ABB (Baden, Switzerland; recently completed commissioning of the integrated electrification and automation system for the first process line of Northland Resources’ Kaunisvaara iron-ore concentrator plant. The site is located approximately 100 km north of the Arctic Circle, in Sweden. The initial orders were awarded in the first quarter of 2012 by Metso Minerals and Northland Resources.

The extremely tight schedule made this project unique: ABB delivered its first equipment only two months after contract awarding — production started merely seven months later on December 4, 2012.

“This is truly a remarkable achievement by the Northland team together with our key suppliers. They have been able to keep up with the demanding time schedule that we set up”, says Karl-Axel Waplan, president & CEO of Northland. “This has only been possible thanks to the tremendous dedication of the project management team and the competent staff. The close partnership with our contract partners has played a vital role in our success.”

ABB’s electrification and automation solutions will allow Northland Resources to achieve optimal operational conditions to reach highest production at lowest energy costs. The scope of supply included nine containerized electrical rooms with embedded medium- and low-voltage switchgear, variable-speed drives and motor control centers, integrated with a plant-wide process automation system using ABB’s Extended Automation System 800xA. ABB’s delivery also included fiber optic network equipment cabling, cable trenching, installation material, engineering, commissioning, installation supervision and project management services.

A previous order included one sophisticated dual-pinion, low-speed mill drive system (2x 5,800 kW). This drive system consists of converter transformers, the frequency converter ACS6000 and synchronous motors and is currently in its final commissioning stage.

Northland plans to produce 1.4 million dry metric tons (dmt) of high-grade iron ore concentrate in 2013 and 3 million dmt in 2014. The company expects to reach the production capacity of 4 million dmt per year in the beginning of the third quarter of 2014.



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