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Wilmar Sugar Australia Limited employed Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment [Mackay] to deliver a broad acre irrigation system at their Gibson Creek sugarcane farm. Wilmar Sugar Australia Limited is Australia's largest raw sugar producer and one of the top 10 producers in the world.
The Gibson Creek sugarcane farm has a total area of 2,000ha, with works completed by Dowdens to date delivering irrigation to over 750ha of sugarcane - this project is still ongoing with the aim to irrigate the full 2,000ha upon completion. The broad acre irrigation system was designed, sourced, installed and commissioned by the Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment Agricultural Sales Team, which has over 125 years combined agriculture irrigation experience.
The system is required to pump water stored in Wilmar's onsite dam (which when completed will hold a total of 2,000ML) to various irrigation devices watering 2,000ha of sugarcane.CLICK IMAGES TO VIEW FULL PROJECT GALLERY
To date the project has seen the team at Dowdens construct, install and commission six Valley Center Pivot Irrigators, with spans ranging from 520m down to 410m, and three hard hose poly line traveling irrigators.
Water for the irrigation system (sourced from Wilmar's 2,000ML onsite dam) required Dowdens to lay an extensive network of poly and PVC mains pipework ranging from 500mm to 150mm in diameter. In total over 12kms of mains pipe has been laid so far.
The entire system is gravity fed from the large onsite dam with a 6-cylinder John Deere diesel engine centrifugal pump feeding the six pivots, and three IVECO-Caprari multistage diesel booster pumps [pictured below] kicking in to raise mains pressure when water is required at the three hard hose poly line travelling irrigators.
The entire project was overseen and managed by Glenn Agnew from the Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment [Mackay] Agricultural Sales Team.
Key Project Features:
Anglo American's Australian Coal division engaged Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment [Mackay] to deliver 8 specialised underground pumping PODs used for various dewatering applications at their Grosvenor Coal Mine, located 190km southwest of Mackay in Moranbah, Central Queensland.
The Grosvenor mine is a developing underground longwall operation that makes up part of Anglo American's plan to triple hard coking coal production at their Moranbah mine sites. Located next to their existing Moranbah North coal mine, Grosvenor is set to produce up to 5 million tonnes of hard coking coal per annum for export. The Grosvenor mine utilises a 10km overland conveyor to transport high-quality metallurgical coal to the Moranbah North Coal Handling & Preparation Plant.
Construction on Anglo American's $1.95 billion Grosvenor longwall project began back in January 2013, with the development celebrating a number of industry firsts including being the first underground coal mine in Queensland to use a tunnel boring machine to develop the drifts, or access tunnels, in coal mine development. Anglo American aimed to have the Grosvenor mine raise the bar for onsite system and production efficiency - making the supply of unique underground POD pumping systems a perfect match for Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment's experienced Engineering Department.
Dowdens Engineering Department's comprehensive abilities have been on the radar of many Central Queensland/Bowen Basin mines for some time through direct contact and working with industry leading consulting engineering firms. Dowdens ability to expertly design/manufacture/install and commission unique equipment built to specific client needs, together with a history of successful installations over the past 15 years in the Bowen Basin has positioned the business as Queensland's premier pumping & water treatment organisation.
Underground Pumping PODs are used in mines as part of the site water management process. Mine water is collected from sumps and wet areas by Wilden air operated diaphragm pumps and delivered to PODs where water level sensors then activate the pump and transfer the collected mine water to a mains pump station, underground storage dam or directly out of the mine portal. Mine water is typically dirty with coal fine, rocks and dirt; therefore slurry pumps are needed to handle such water. PODs can be located in hazardous areas and can be fitted with Flame proof motors and motor controllers with PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) and SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition).
The Grosvenor mine site requirements meant each POD needed to have a 200kW power rating. With the site's physical constraints (i.e. the underground mined roof height and width, as well as the site lifting equipment for transporting) meant careful consideration was required for the overhung load whilst transporting this equipment. Capacity of a standard Dowdens POD is 4m3 with a 110kW motor, however with the larger flow rate required to and from the POD meant a 6m3 capacity working volume was needed. Bigger capacity and higher duty equated to a larger size motor and pump, more robust steel framework and additional accessibility for scheduled servicing.
Dowdens standard POD design incorporates a dirty water receiving area. This area, integral to the main hopper (container for collection of bulk material such as rock or soil), ensures particles that are too large for the pump to digest and transport are separated and manually removed periodically ensuring trouble free pumping.
Pumps selected by Dowdens for this harsh duty were Stalker 400SHD model with mechanical seals, seal lubrication and cooling. Motors selected were WEG brand Flameproof mine spec motors. The control for the pumps is a flameproof 200kW model with PLC and HMI (Human Machine Interface) screens. The controller starts and stops the pump, whilst also monitoring for faults and relaying important information to the mine surface via SCADA. Dowdens PODs built for the Grosvenor mine have the ability of easily interchanging the motors/pumps for differing duties. These will be identified as 200kW and 132kW cassettes. To accommodate this change the Main Control Unit (MCU) has the capacity to operate at either 200kW or 132kW with only slight changes to load controls.
The larger size and the flexibility to change the duty, together with Dowdens strategic POD site placement advice has enabled Anglo American less manoeuvring of the POD through development, saving costly underground labour and downtime. Without reliable pumping the mine's production slows/halts causing delays and safety issues which cost the mine many thousands of dollars each day. It was imperative the system worked and was extremely reliable. This project was delivered on time and within budget. Key project system components are listed below:
Unique features specific to the 8x Underground Dewatering Grosvenor PODs included:
Key Project Features:
A Rockhampton regional cattle grazier (located in Kalapa, QLD) employed Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment [Rockhampton] to design, install and commission an economical yet efficient pumping solution to supply water for 50 head of cattle in a remote paddock.
The paddock in question has no access to mains electricity or town water so Dowdens needed to find a way to efficiently pump the water drawn from a 12m deep well into a newly installed poly water tank, eliminating the need to use the old onsite windmill. A solar powered pump and controller unit needed to be used.
Dowdens contacted local business Nu-Tank to float the idea of establishing an ongoing Rockhampton-based partnership to manufacture and deliver Dowdens dedicated solar pumping solutions in unison with their locally manufactured reliable one piece water tanks to farmers, graziers and local industry alike.
Working in partnership with Stephen Trail [Manager] from Nu-Tank Rockhampton the Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment Rockhampton branch were able to co-design, test and develop specialised poly lugs that can be welded to the top of each tank. This has allowed Dowdens wide range of solar panels to be fitted safely and securely to the top of Nu-Tank's dedicated solar pumping water tanks.
"Partnering with Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment [Rockhampton] has allowed both companies to better service the farming and grazier community with specialised solar pump / tank systems. Combining Nu-Tank's quality storage solutions with Dowdens years of solar pumping expertise has seen the development of our unique and reliable solar pump / water tank products. We look forward to working closely with Dowdens in the years to come supplying affordable solar pump and tank solutions to farmers, graziers and local Rockhampton businesses."
The solar pumping system was designed to keep overall costs down whilst still delivering a regular supply of water to the cattle with negligible ongoing service or labour required.
A 3HRSS Waterboy submersible solar pump was installed in the onsite well at a depth of approximately 12m. The solar pump then transfers artesian bore water via metric poly pipe to the nearby specially adapted Nu-Tank poly water tank. The tank then gravity feeds a series of troughs throughout the paddock sufficiently watering the 50 head of cattle.
The Nu-Tank PWT3300 15,000L poly water tank was fitted with a PC500 Waterboy pump controller allowing the pumps flow rate and pressure to be easily managed via the easy-to-use electronic interface. The daily flow into the water tank is now approximately 6,000L - which is more than enough to properly water the 50 head of cattle in the paddock.
The top of Nu-Tank poly water tanks are rated to hold a much greater weight than the installed solar panels - meaning the environmental footprint of the entire solar setup was minimised and the grazier saved money on the total project costs.
Key Project Features:
Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment [Mackay] have delivered yet another Soft Hose Travelling Irrigator to a local Sarina Sugarcane Farmer.
Harvey Matsen [pictured below] operates a 100ha sugarcane farm in Sarina. Due to the lack of rainfall during the 2014/15 growing season he decided to purchase a TRAILCO T-450-2 Soft Hose Travelling Irrigator to better manage the irrigation of his cane.
Wanting to purchase his new irrigator from a local business Harvey sought the services of the Dowdens Mackay Agricultural Sales Team - one of the most experienced Ag sales teams in Australia, with over 125 years of combined irrigation system design and operational experience between them. As a company that has built its foundation on the servicing and development of agricultural pumping systems, Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment have the experience to engineer a solution to suit any agricultural application. For over 40 years Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment have been selling & servicing irrigation products throughout Central & Northern Queensland - designing each and every system to improve farming efficiencies, reduce downtime and increase the longevity of pumps / irrigators.
Jeff Roberts from the Dowdens Mackay Agricultural Sales Team visited Harvey's farm on a number of occasions to investigate, design and then match an irrigator and irrigation plan to best suit the property. Taking into consideration the terrain, existing pump capabilities and source water availability Jeff suggested Harvey purchase a TRAILCO T-450-2 Soft Hose Travelling Irrigator with irrigation gun.
Harvey has access to pressurised irrigation water from the nearby Kinchant Dam. At farm door the dam feed water arrives at between 20 - 30psi. With the TRAILCO T-450-2 Soft Hose Travelling Irrigator needing a higher pressure to operate efficiently Dowdens utilised the farm's existing Power-Take-Off (PTO) Tractor driven booster pump, raising the feed water to over 70psi.
The T-450-2 is able to apply 50mm of water onto a 2ha area of cane whilst travelling along 300m of 4" soft hose - delivering 22.5L/sec @ 70psi.
Together with flood irrigation (using the gravity fed Kinchant Dam feed water), an existing travelling irrigator and the new T-450-2 Harvey can now irrigate his property in half the time. In times of low rainfall when young cane is most vulnerable to dry soil conditions, Harvey can now irrigate his young cane faster ensuring they take root quicker and go on to deliver a better overall yield.
The T-450-2 is an extremely efficient and reliable soft hose travelling irrigator - so much so it can easily pull Harvey's tractor towards it as it travels down the feed hose on an irrigating run [pictured below].