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ABB wins supply contract for BHP Chile mine automation

ABB’s process automation division has won a five-year contract from Minera Escondida Ltda (operated by BHP Billiton) to manage maintenance and increase productivity at the world’s largest copper mine.

Located in the northern part of Chile, the Escondida mine produced 1.2 million metric tonnes of fine copper in 2008, close to eight per cent of the world’s total copper production.

BHP Billiton is the operator and majority owner of the mine; other joint venture owners are Rio Tinto, JECO and International Finance Corp.

ABB will provide performance-based maintenance services for the five crushing plants at the mine, and the 25 kilometre conveying system that then transports the copper to the processing plants.

These services include management of all maintenance activities, as well as continuous improvement programs to increase overall process efficiency and improve the reliability and availability of all production equipment. The agreement involves 87 people and started on May 1, 2009.

“This contract highlights how ABB’s innovative approach to performance-based services, combined with our industry expertise and commitment to helping our customers achieve their targets, provides a win-win situation for all parties,” said ANN Process Automation head, Veli-Matti Reinikkala.

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