WARTSILA has signed a two-year maintenance and advisory agreement with Simberi Gold Company Limited for work associated with the Simberi mine in New Ireland Province.

The agreement covers, in addition to scheduled maintenance, expert advisory services to ensure continuous and sufficient power supply for the Simberi’s gold mine operation. The 10 MW Simberi power plant operates in isolation from the national electricity distribution network and is located approximately 900 kmnorth east of Port Moresby.

Simberi Gold Company Limited is a subsidiary of St Barbara, an Australian ASX-listed gold producer and explorer.

St Barbara’s assets include the Leonora operations in Western Australia and the Simberi operations in PNG. The Simberi mine started production in 2008 and produced 110,000 ounces of gold in the last financial year.

“We chose Wärtsilä as our partner because of their proven technical expertise and track record with our on-site power plant,” Tim Richards, general manager of Simberi Operations said.

“A key consideration in selecting Wärtsilä was their ability to maintain their service level on-site here in Papua New Guinea.

Being able to rely on Wärtsilä’s advice and support in running the mine’s power plant helps us maintain our own focus on the mining operation,” Mr Richards said.

John Sydney, director SUAA and managing director, Wärtsilä Services, Australia, said the company’s technical advisory services supports customers’ onsite personnel.

“Advice and recommendations are provided for planning of plant operations, engine maintenance and daily running of the power plant’s equipment. Wärtsilä’s experienced service personnel is also available to assist in troubleshooting and provide training of power plant personnel,” Mr Sydney said.

“Our first priority is to keep our customers’ operations running as smoothly as possible. With these agreements, we can help Simberi Gold Company Limited keep the power plant supporting the gold mine in good working condition and prevent unexpected disruptions.

“Should any issues surface, our service experts are always ready to assist and advise. We look forward to working together with Simberi,” he added.