Edited by Sharyn Macnamara

Amidst the scorching heat and diamond rich landscapes of Botswana, a unique challenge emerged at Karowe mine in Botswana: cooling excellence without the hassle was ‘the ask’. IWC (Industrial Water Cooling) Industrial, in collaboration with its client, Howden, answered the call to action with the IWC FM range of cooling towers.

The requirement

The demand was clear – a cooling solution was required that would harmonise with the unforgiving African sun to facilitate the exploration of diamonds at the Karowe mine. A solution that would minimise site installation time, and one which would require as little maintenance as possible, was the order of the day.

IWC FM Range cooling tower. Image credit: IWC Industrial.

IWC FM Range cooling tower. Image credit: IWC Industrial

The solution

IWC and Howden concluded that the IWC FM range of cooling towers would be best suited for the chiller’s condenser circuit at the surface refrigeration plant being built for the diamond mine. The Karowe diamond mine, owned by Lucara Diamond, is a state-of-the-art mine. Karowe, which means “precious stone” in the local language, is one of world’s foremost producers of large, high quality, Type IIA diamonds in excess of 10.8 carats. The cooling towers would be used for the BAC project – part of the mine deepening project started in 2021.  

As the mine is exposed to the harsh African sun, it made sense to use the FM 248 cooling towers as they are produced with non-corroding materials to ensure that there is no degradation of the tower over time.  The cooling tower casings are manufactured in a robust, durable and compact glass reinforced polyester casing which is covered by IWC Industrial’s industry leading 10 Year Guarantee (T&Cs apply). This serves as a testament to their quality and durability.

FM Range cooling tower. Image credit: IWC Industrial

FM Range cooling tower. Image credit: IWC Industrial

The FM 248 cooling towers were built in four compact quarters for easy transportation in shipping containers – transported via road to site to be assembled on site in minimum time.

A further project requirement was a solution that would involve little maintenance and the supplier recommendation was therefore a direct drive solution that would require no gearbox oil changes.

Each cooling tower was equipped with four fans, each directly driven by a 6-pole, 5.5kW, 525 electric motor. The IWC fans have no belts, pulleys or gearboxes – providing many years of trouble-free service with minimal maintenance required. Each fan is installed in a purpose-made fibreglass ring.  The design of the fan, fan ring and HDG fan support bracket ensure optimum inlet conditions resulting in efficient fan operation with minimum losses.  Each of the fans is safeguarded with a removable stainless steel 304 fan guard.

Alongside the cooling tower order, IWC will also be supplying a Bulk Air Cooler (BAC) fan assembly. The IWC engineering team designed a solution to ensure that the ventilation shaft receives enough air during certain upset conditions.

In this diamond-rich corner of the world, where every facet must shine, Howden and IWC Industrial have proven that ingenuity and reliability are the true gems of any successful endeavour.

Source: IWC Industrial