Improved performance of coal wash plant

Isaac Plains CHPP Operations
Industry Sector
Minerals & Metals
Isaac Plains, Queensland, Australia
Isaac Plains Coal Management P/L (IPCM)
Service Area
Plant Operations & Maintenance; Process Plants; Project Delivery
Maintenance Strategies; Operations Improvement; Coal Handling & Preparation Plants; Contract Operations

Ausenco utilised its operations and maintenance expertise to significantly improve the plant production at Isaac Plains CHPP plant.

After taking over the O&M maintenance of the plant from another provider, Ausenco O&M specialists concluded that the feeder breaker (crusher) equipment was undersized, thus increasing failure potential and preventing the plant from reaching its design capacity of 500 t/h.

The crushing equipment was the cause of regular failure at the plant thus reducing the annual throughput of saleable product. Our engineering specialists concluded that the equipment required upgrading to allow it to provide the necessary crushing capacity.

The project included:

  • planning the project for completion in a tight schedule to minimise down time
  • completed an engineering review on the equipment
  • assisted in the redesign of the drive shaft
  • liaising with equipment manufacturers regarding the design and modifications required
  • procured the equipment and OEM support required to complete the upgrade
  • planned the shutdown for efficient completion
  • upgraded the crusher equipment, associated cooling and lubrication systems
  • commissioned the upgraded crusher
  • monitored crusher performance and wear patterns
  • optimisation adjustment and maintenance for the upgraded crusher.


  • plant production increased from an average of 372 t/h prior to upgrade to 500 t/h - a 34% improvement in throughput
  • design nameplate production was achieved
  • project was completed under budget
  • reduced wear and stress on crusher components with revised maintenance routines resulted in decrease in maintenance costs for the crusher by 50%
  • crusher has not failed since the upgrade
  • improved plant availability and production for CHPP operations.