The largest Russian coal producer, Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK), recently placed an order with the regional Cat® dealer, Vostochnaya Technica LLC (VT), for a complete armored face conveyor system to equip the company’s second 400 m longwall face (Figure 1). The longwall will operate in the mine named after V.D. Yalevskyi, Yalevskogo Seam #52 (formerly Mine #7), with commissioning planned for early next year.
In April, SUEK commissioned the first 400 m longwall face in Russia in the same mine, but in Seam #50, formerly called Kotinskaya. Previously, the widest longwall face in Russia was 300 m. The equipment for the face extension and the upgrade of the armored face conveyor (AFC) system was manufactured by Caterpillar and assembled and commissioned by VT.
The mine is located in the Kemerovo District in Siberia where SUEK operates ten longwall faces in their underground coal mines and two open pit coal mines. The longwall systems at the two faces average cutting heights of approximately 4 m.
The new system for Yalevskogo consists of a Cat AFC PF6/1142 with three drives of 1,000 kW each and Cat CST65 gear boxes, a Cat PF6/1342 beam stage loader with a Cat SK11/14 crusher and a belt return unit. The AFC system will go into operation with Cat roof supports.
Cat PF6 face and entry conveyers are especially designed for high performance longwalls.
With its patented trough concept and durable pan design, the Cat AFCPF6 face conveyor is particularly suited for applications in longwalls with extended face length and for panels with coal reserves of 10 mt and more. The innovative design of the PF6 line pan allows the separation of wear parts and structural parts. Very hard, wear-resistant materials are used for wear parts, while the structural parts are made of high-strength steel.
The recent order marks continued growth of SUEK’s Cat longwall equipment. The mining company currently operates four longwall faces with Cat roof supports, and it has nine complete Cat AFC systems. In 2016, SUEK produced more than 105 mt from its 14 longwall systems and 14 open pit mines.
The Russian Yalevskogo mine recently surpassed the world record for monthly coal production from a single longwall system. The mine produced 1,567 mt of raw coal in July 2017 (Figure 2). The mine, formerly known as Kotinskaya, surpassed its own national record and challenged the world record by mining 1,4073 mt in the month of May.