Over the course of several years, BESTECH has been an essential part of the engineering team supporting Glencore’s Onaping Depth project through pre-feasibility, feasibility, and detailed design.

Glencore Sudbury operations were increasing the depth of Onaping Mine to reach newly discovered ore bodies. This necessitated the construction of a new cooling plant.

As part of this improvement project, the power infrastructure required updating and increased capacity. A new 115 kV transmission line, substation and 27.6 kV underground distribution system were required to power the mine infrastructure. BESTECH completed the multi-disciplinary detailed engineering (Power Systems, Civil, Structural) required to bring the project to its issued construction phase.

The newly designed 115 kV line covers extremely rugged terrain and boasts an 1100 ft span across a ravine. Special attention was required to spot structures and guys under difficult design conditions to ensure line constructability—the newly designed 27.6 kV distribution required special clearance considerations for haulage trucks and the fibre optic design.

The scope of work included the following:

  • New grid connection to Hydro One
  • New 1.5 km of 115 kV transmission line
  • Upgrades to 1.5 km of 27.6 kV distribution line
  • Upgrades to all surface 115 kV to 27.6 kV substations at Craig Mine and Onaping Mine
  • Review of the current 4.16 kV underground infrastructure to ensure temporary system capacity
  • Upgrades to existing underground 4.16 kV substations at Craig Mine
  • New 27.6 kV underground distribution system for Onaping Depth Mine
  • Over thirty new 27.6kV to 600V underground portable substations for Onaping Depth Mine
  • Shield wire and vibration damper designs
  • Demolition and removal package for existing infrastructure
  • Grounding study
  • Lightning protection study
  • Constructability and process hazard reviews
  • Capital estimate
  • Permitting and coordination
  • Technical bid reviews
  • Construction and commissioning support

Throughout this work, we were an integral part of the Onaping Depth team and clearly demonstrated our ability to collaborate and develop innovative solutions to deliver improvements for our clients. The team’s integrated approach yielded high returns for the client, particularly with our improvement recommendations for the power systems during the feasibility study phase.