Swiss headquartered ABB, the global power and automation technology group with a focus on mining, has signed a contract worth $62 million with Vale International Switzerland, a subsidiary of the multinational mining company, Vale, for the Oman Industrial Complex project. The contract, which came into force in the middle of January 2009, comprises the delivery of the complete electrical equipment for Vale Oman's new material handling and iron ore pellet plant. This includes the Extended Automation System 800xA, a collaborative production management system, power distribution, transformers, motor control centres, drives and motors as well as substation infrastructure.

The new Vale plant, 230 km northwest of Muscat, Oman, is expected to produce up to 9.07 Mt/y of iron ore pellets. Scheduled to start operations at the end of 2010, the facility will provide the Middle East region with iron ore and pellets for the steel industry.

ABB has delivered numerous automation solutions, services and related support to Vale's mining operations all over the world, but this is the first time the company has placed a complete plant order with ABB. According to ABB, it won the contract with an efficient solution at fair cost estimates, with its integrated equipment providing claimed excellent availability.

John Chadwick is editor/proprietor of International Mining magazine -