Serbia mining: Overhauls of the MB “Kolubara” overburden systems in progress; The excavators are getting ready for the winter

, Mining

Regular annual servicing and replacement of worn-out equipment is the guarantor of smooth production in the four Kolubara open pit mines in the next season. – In spite of difficulties related to the supply of parts, most of the work has been performed on schedule.

During the hottest summer months, apart from maintaining a high level of production while defying almost unbearable weather conditions, employees from the four OPMs of Mining Basin “Kolubara” are required to carry out a regular annual maintenance and recovery of the equipment to ensure its reliable performance in the season to come. The overhauls that are carefully planned, both technically and financially, are conducted during the non-heat season. From the experts dealing with these issues for years we learn that, especially when it comes to equipment that has been involved for decades in service, preventative maintenance is a necessary precondition for stability of the system that produces 30 million tons of lignite annually.

This year’s investment repairs began in early April, when the servicing of excavators and spreaders operating on coal systems officially started. On the BWE “Glodar 7”, in addition to the usual checks and replacement of worn parts, the complete bucket wheel gearbox was replaced due to numerous stoppages of the one of largest mining machines caused by outdated technology of the old gearbox. Within the same “package” of tasks, on the BWE “Glodar 1” operating at the Field “B”, the connecting bridge undercarriage tracks were replaced for the first time ever after the installation. The first phase of the overhaul was completed in the second half of July, when all the tasks scheduled for the coal mining machines were completed.

Currently, the overhaul is carried out on the II ECS (excavator, conveyor, and spreader) overburden system of the mine Field “D”. It refers to the inspection and revitalization of the BWE “Glodar 3” equipment and according to the schedule should be completed on 23rd August. After that, the overhaul of the First A ECS system will start, where the BWE “Glodar 4” operates on the overburden excavation. The ongoing activities also include servicing of the ECS I and ECS II systems of “Tamnava West Field”. A significant part of the job that remains to be done during the second half of September includes investment repair of the Fifth ECS system of Field “D”, being the largest overburden system, the operational readiness of which directly influences coal production in the largest Kolubara OPM.


This system includes BWE  “Glodar 9” and “Spreader 6”, on which an extra job shall be performed this year. Namely, because of the impossibility of further supply of spare parts and after all other possibilities of revitalization had been exhausted, a project of the complete spreader control system reconstruction was developed. This work has been designed and a tender for the procurement of the equipment completed, but one of the bidders appealed so the procedure had to be repeated causing a delay in the installation of new parts until formal resolution of the situation.

Mr. Radovan Maksimović, coordinator of overhaul planning and electrical system maintenance in MB “Kolubara”, is satisfied with the work done so far despite the difficulties.

– We do everything in our power that the equipment ordered arrives in the warehouse timely, otherwise, we are at risk that one of the most important mine systems could not respond to challenges in the coming winter season – said Mr. Maksimović . – In addition to the postponed work, at the regular weekly meetings at which supervisors and contractors summarize the realized activities out of those planned, it was noted that the defect check lists for coal systems are almost 100 percent filled out. Although the funds allocated for this purpose were limited, through funds diverting and maximum use of “Kolubara Metal” capacity we were able to implement most of the planned activities and prepare equipment for the new production challenges.

Source; Serbia Energy/RBK/EPS Kwh

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