Pacific Energy Secures Hybrid Power PPA for Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project

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Posted by Daniel Gleeson on September 16, 2022


Pacific Energy has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with Kimberley Mineral Sands (KMS) for the Thunderbird mineral sands project in Western Australia.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pacific Energy will design, build, own and operate a 16 MW high-efficiency gas-fired power plant combined with 2 MW battery storage and an on-site LNG storage and regasification facility with a storage capacity of 10 days.

The agreement accounts for the future addition of solar power, and the parties will begin work on that expansion as soon as possible to create a larger hybrid power plant, Pacific Energy says.

Jamie Cullen, CEO of Pacific Energy, said, “We are delighted to have been selected to deliver an efficient power generation and gas storage solution for KMS’ flagship Thunderbird project.”

Bruce Griffin, Executive Chair of Sheffield Resources added, “We look forward to expanding KMS’ relationship with Pacific Energy and to Pacific Energy’s support in providing a stable and efficient power solution for Thunderbird. We welcome this important milestone in establishing Thunderbird as the next major mineral sands producer in the near future.”

Construction is scheduled to start in December 2022.

KMS is owned 50/50 by Sheffield Resources and Yansteel.

A bankable feasibility study released earlier this year outlined a A$484 million (US$325 million) Phase 1 project using a single mining unit facility containing a 10.4 Mtpa mining operation and a Process plant feed rate of 170 tph. The Stage 2 project called for a doubling of Stage 1 mining in its fifth year, underpinning a 20.8 Mt/year mining operation and an increase in the processing plant feed rate to 290 tph.

Shown above: Thunderbird process plant layout (power generation and storage area in inset)

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