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Caterpillar to supply longwall systems to Turkish coal mine

Published by
World Coal,

Caterpillar will deliver the first of two complete Cat longwall mining systems to the Soma Eynez East mine, owned by the Demir Export A.S. – Fernas Insaat A.S. Joint Venture. Both longwall systems are designed for longwall top coal caving (LTCC) in a coal seam with an average thickness of 25 m (82 ft). Caterpillar is the leading supplier for the coal producing industry in Turkey with four out of five longwall underground mining systems in operation.

The greenfield underground coal-mining project is in the Turkish Soma-Manisa area and is planned for a 15 year mine life. The project includes 36.5 million t (40 million short t) of coal production with the LTCC mining method.

The first longwall mining system will start production in Q3 2014 and will have a production capacity of 2.7 million tpa (3 million short). The coalface has a length of 180 m (590 ft). The second longwall will be in operation six months later.

Longwall system overview

Each of the two identical sets of longwall mining equipment includes a Cat EL1000 shearer, two Cat AFC PF4 face conveyors, and a Cat BSLPF4 beam stage loader, including an SK111 crusher. Caterpillar will also supply the complete electrical and hydraulic power supply systems, as well as the cooling and spraying water supply system and the complete automation system for the longwall face.

The roof supports for the longwall systems will be provided by Caterpillar (Zhengzhou) Ltd., a Chinese company acquired by Caterpillar in 2012. Each longwall system includes 95 Zhengzhou roof supports with a shield centre of 1.75 m (5.7 ft) and an extended height of 3.2 m (10.5 ft), transition and gate end shields, as well as roadway shields for tail and maingate. The roof supports will be equipped with state-of-the-art Cat PMC-R roof support controls.

Longwall top coal caving

The LTCC mining method to be employed at the mine is a special type of longwall mining applicable to seams thicker than 6 m (20 ft). Conventional longwall equipment has not yet been designed to operate successfully in seams thicker than this height.

LTCC enables increased recovery for only an incremental additional cost. The lower section of the seam is cut by a conventional longwall set-up except that each longwall roof support has a longer rear canopy extending past the base into the goaf (also known as gob). The extended rear canopy has a sliding rear canopy fitted into each one. An additional armored face conveyor (AFC) is attached to the rear of the shields and runs directly below the canopy openings.

As the face moves forward, the coal left above the section cut by the machine falls onto the extended canopies, providing the goaf is caving normally. The sliding rear canopies are sequentially opened, and the coal falls through onto the rear mounted AFC. The maingate stage loader is extended beyond the face conveyor to enable the rear mounted AFC to discharge coal directly onto it and carry coal to the maingate conveyor belt system.

Written by Caterpillar. Edited by

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