January 23, 2023
Solving Complex Water Projects with Aqua Energy Group
Every liquid management project in the industrial, commercial and resources space carries a degree of unknown risk. It takes something special to tackle complex liquid management problems on a commercial scale.
Aqua Energy Group is one company that’s taking this specialised area to the next level. They design, supply, install, commission and maintain water and slurry packaged pump systems and electrical equipment for major mines in Australia.
The company prides itself on its ability to deliver ‘off the shelf’ or custom designed solutions to suit specific site requirements, with equipment that’s engineered to the highest Australian and International standards.
Aqua Energy Group has quickly gained a reputation within the mining industry for dealing with the most complex and challenging projects, particularly when it comes to integrated pump systems.
According to Daniel Thompson, Project Director of Aqua Energy Group, many complexities exist when it comes to liquid management in the mining industry.
"When faced with a complex project, many considerations are at play including the liquids and site applications involved, the type of pontoon selected, and of course the pumping system required to effectively manage different liquids,” said Thompson.
"Add to this a multitude of other factors and complexities within a project, and it’s no surprise that it takes a unique set of skills to deliver a practical, cost-effective solution.
"We have completed a significant number of projects over the years, from small pumpstations to large turnkey projects such as containerised fire pumps and pontoon pump stations, dewatering operations and waste water treatment plants.
“Our pumping and electrical solutions are on show across multiple industries including mining, fire, civil, renewable, and tunnelling, with projects including mine sites, municipal projects, renewable hydro power plants, and industrial sites.”
To achieve such feats, it takes more than just great products, but an experienced team backed by proven processes and innovative solutions. That’s where establishing valuable partnerships with specialist engineering firms comes into play. It’s vital to understand that one missing piece of a puzzle in the world of liquid management can add unnecessary time and money to a project.
This is particularly evident in projects that face time pressures on designs that require integration of liquid management products, or unique expertise from different industries as a single point of contact, to facilitate a holistic approach to the project.
As the industry’s liquid control specialists, Coerco have found the silver bullet, which is a collaborative approach and long-term partnership with industry experts such as Aqua Energy Group.
This has seen the dynamic duo take the industry by storm with Coerco designing and supplying the floating pontoons, and Aqua Energy Group building the pumping systems, for projects all around the country.
Mining and water infrastructure industries utilise pontoons and floating walkways to support heavy pumping equipment or machinery during floating applications.
Floatation on liquid, specifically industrial pump pontoons, is a specialised area where Coerco are leaving the competition in their wake. The company is responsible for designing mining pump pontoons, or modular industrial pontoon systems, for use in different environments.
“Whether it’s maintaining dam tailings, mine site dewatering, sludge pond reclamation, dredging, or access walkways for remote and flood relief, you can be assured we’ll deliver,” said Thompson.
"Knowing Coerco’s extensive experience in pontoon design, and our capability from a pump system perspective, we leverage mutual expertise and resources that are second to none.”
Controlling liquids with fit-for-purpose pontoons
Firstly, determining the types of liquids in an environment will help determine the appropriate pontoon and pump system to use.
Preventing toxic substances from leaking into nearby water or local ecosystems is a core function of pump pontoons which are used to drain excess water from mine tailings dams.
Dewatering is performed regularly in most open-pit and underground mining operations that are prone to flooding as a result of a shifting landscape and heavy rainfall. Dewatering reduces flood risk and helps operations avoid shutdown.
A floating pontoon equipped with heavy pumping equipment is an ideal solution for miners when de-sludging and pumping effluent water from holding ponds. It’s also suitable for reclaiming and cleaning shallow bodies of water or pits without heavy excavation and drainage.
Mine sites commonly use floating pontoons to provide a reliable platform when dredging pumps in high solid industrial pumping applications. They can also serve as stable access walkways for mining, or industrial floating operations in remote areas during floods.
Coerco have been building floating walkways and pontoons for decades. With many different styles, sizes and materials available, the type of pontoon depends upon the site requirements and type of environment in which liquids are being managed.
"When we work on a specific project with Coerco, we ensure the pontoon configuration and our pump system will function from a design point of view,” said Thompson.
“Whether it’s a heavy-duty, lightweight poly, or modular setup, the type of pontoon makes a big difference to how we integrate the required pump system.
“The heavy-duty pontoons work really well for clients needing a robust, safe and stable platform capable of handling large pump setups and heavy loads of up to 25 tonnes.
"You’ve also got lightweight and versatile poly pontoons, ideal for tight spaces and temporary setups. These are manufactured using high-quality polyethylene materials, and are UV stabilised and resistant to corrosion and harmful chemicals.
“Then there’s the modular pontoons, which easily adapt and change your pontoon’s shape and size as your project requirements change. These can support a maximum load of 5 tonnes and are simple to assemble and reassemble as required.”
Collaboration to overcome complex projects
Coerco and Aqua Energy Group have partnered on a number of major mining projects, delivering solutions that aim to solve the most complex problems in liquid management.
They have leveraged their shared capabilities to achieve success in the areas of liquid containment, flotation on liquid, and liquid movement.
Two recent mine infrastructure projects the companies have worked on are based in the Moranbah region of Queensland, both of which were complex tailings management projects requiring a high-spec engineered solution.
“The first project was for tailings storage management, which involved the design, supply and installation of all electrical and mechanical requirements,” said Thompson.
“We had two dual electric pontoons and custom walkways, two kiosk substations, and mine spec control panels, instrumentation, and electrical and pipework manifolds that were commissioned and integrated.
“The second complex tailings infrastructure project came off the back of a successful tender win for a flagship mining company. It involved a full turnkey solution from design to commission, and required a huge collaborative effort between ourselves and Coerco.”