Cobre (Copper) Panama Power Station

Minera Panama requires the construction of a 300-320 megawatt power plant known as the Cobre Panama Power Station which is a two-unit coal fired power plant to sustain operations and whose excess production will be fed back into the national grid system. Minera Panama estimates requiring 7,000 employees of which 3,000 employees will be for port and plant operations.

PACO UNITS 1 AND 2 Coal-Fired
Sponsor: Minera Panamá
Parent company: First Quantum Minerals Ltd
Client: SK Engineering & Construction (SK E&C)
Location: Punta Rincón, Coclé del Norte, Donoso District, Colón, Panama
Coordinates: 9.019755, -80.690630 (approximate)
New Coal Plant / 2×150 MW / Colombian Bituminous Coal
Gross Capacity: Unit 1: 150-160 MW, Unit 2: 150-160 MW
Type: Subcritical
Boiler: SeenTec
Seawater FGD system: Fisia Babcock
Steam turbine-generator: Doosan Skoda
Status: Under Construction
Projected in service: 2017

The PACO project consists of two identical 150-MW subcritical coal-fired units and associated steam-turbine generators (STGs), located on a greenfield site on the Caribbean coastline of Panama, approximately 130 km west of Panama City. Each unit includes one boiler, one STG, a seawater flue gas desulfurization (FGD) unit, and once-through cooling of the STG exhaust using seawater. Coal will be primarily Colombian bituminous. The STG units are located indoors.

The design incorporates state-of-the-art equipment, software, and features. SK Engineering & Construction (SK E&C) is developing the plant on an engineering-procurement (EP) basis for Minera Panama, S.A. (MPSA), who is the plant owner. MPSA is managing the construction and is a subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FQML). The plant is being built to supply power for the new Cobre copper mine currently under development.

SK E&C teamed exclusively with Sargent & Lundy, SeenTec, Doosan Skoda, and Fisia Babcock to submit their winning offer for the project. Sargent & Lundy supported SK E&C with development of their technical bid and through the entire bidding phase. The team of Sargent & Lundy and L&T-Sar gent & Lundy Limited is providing the detailed engineering and design of the project. The power plant will operate primarily at base load and will supply electric power via a 230-kV two-circuit transmission line, to be designed and installed by third parties, to the Cobre copper mining complex under development in an area about 30 km from the PACO project site. This mining complex has a forecasted continuous power demand of about 200 MW. The balance of the net-generated power will be injected into the Panamanian electrical power grid.

The plant is being developed on a site that was covered by dense vegetation, and MPSA, with responsibility for clearing the site and initial grading, had to meet very stringent environmental requirements with respect to removal of flora and fauna. In effect, every animal (including 10-foot-long bushmaster snakes) had to be physically relocated during site clearing operations.

Commercial operation is anticipated in January 2017.

In conjunction with Minera Panama’s investment in the area, the Panamanian government has committed resources to constructing 2 large projects; an Atlantic Bridge over the 3rd set of Canal locks, and a coastal highway (along the Mosquito Coast) from Miguel de la Borda to Chiriquí Grande.