Lihir steps up on operational sustainability

Newcrest Lihir’s Diesel Power Station (DPS), in collaboration with Lihir Technical Training Centre (LTTC), are carrying out full overhauls of air maze filters for its Wartzila engines.

This is part of maintaining its operational sustainability and ensuring a safe and reliable service to all stakeholders in Lihir.

Lihir’s DPS generates and distributes electricity to the process plant, mine operation, Londolovit Township and the Lihirian communities.

The teams started repair work early this year and have been working together to deliver this project as part of their Transformation 2 commitment in enhancing stability in the operation.

Previously, the DPS mechanical maintenance teams were restricted to the level of repair work that could be carried out in situ due to the challenging location in which they are installed. Overhauling the air maze filters at LTTC has eliminated the need for many high-risk tasks that would otherwise be associated with the repair work.

Air maze filters play a key role in the station’s operation. They filter the air by removing dirt, dust and contaminants before the air is fed into the engine’s turbocharges. Unfiltered air has the potential to cause significant engine downtime that can result in costly repairs of the turbochargers.

“Having the LTTC team perform the reconditioning of these air maze filters provides a great opportunity for trainees to have a hands-on experience on ‘real’ equipment that will be put into service upon completion of the work. This resonates with Newcrest’s ‘People’ pillar, which aims at developing the workforce, mostly Papua New Guineans, to be engaged and capable in delivering positive results,” said Power and Utilities Coordinator Christopher Sims.

“It also contributes towards sustaining the station’s operational readiness. Having spare maze filters ready to install for planned maintenance or in case of an unexpected breakdown, reduces the duration of the task and importantly, reduces the engine’s downtime needed to replace these important pieces of equipment,” said Ben Odiu, DPS Mechanical Supervisor.

Essentially, Sims highlighted that this project reflects the team’s strong commitment in applying sustainable practices in their operation; this aligns with Newcrest’s ‘Safety and Sustainability’ pillar.

(Lihir’s people leaders Christopher Sims and Ben Odiu inspecting an air maze filter)

Press release