Technology

Cummins provides the power of certainty

While mining in Papua New Guinea can come with its challenges, Cummins has maintained a strong presence in the country for more than 50 years.

Cummins, a global power technology leader, has been a proud partner of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) mining industry for over five decades.

Initially represented in PNG by Blackwood Hodge, the year 1984 saw the Cummins Diesel Sales and Service franchise sold to Cummins Engine Co (Cummins Inc.).

Today, Cummins employs 45 nationals in PNG who work out of two locations: Port Moresby and Lae. Most employees are involved in workshop and field service technical roles.

“It’s probably the most challenging assignment I’ve ever taken on but it’s also the most rewarding in terms of employee development,” Cummins PNG general manager David Leach told PNG Mining.

“Currently, I’m the only expat in Cummins PNG. For a long time, all key roles within the PNG business were in the hands of expats. I can see one day that our work in building skills, loyalty and dedication within our workforce will see a PNG national as general manager.

“We already have two nationals managing  our Port Moresby and Lae branches.”

Leach has worked for Cummins for over 27 years, starting in the UK at the International Training School in Daventry where he led training on Cummins’ high horsepower engines – QSK45, QSK60 and QSK78.

He was also involved in establishing an engine and power generation distributorship in Ghana before taking on the role of senior application engineering manager for Cummins’ power generation business in Europe.

Leach moved to Australia in 2018 to become branch manager of Cummins Emerald in Queensland, a business with a strong mining focus.

“One of the key reasons our customers prefer using our product is because they’re dealing directly with Cummins, not through a dealership,” Leach said.

Cummins sees developing apprentices is another key to building a sustainable business, and Cummins PNG currently has six apprentices.

“We have a lot of applications for our apprenticeships because Cummins is recognised in the community as being a good employer and good trainer,” Leach said.

And it’s not just technical training that’s important at Cummins PNG. Training in corporate values is vital.

“We want Cummins’ values of integrity, teamwork, diversity and inclusion, caring, and excellence to be ever-present in the minds of our team,” Leach said.

“Safety training is also crucial to the success of our business. Our ‘safety first’ culture is reflected in our record of zero incidents over the last two years.

“It’s all about creating the right work environment.”

Cummins PNG’s business procedures have seen a dramatic transformation in recent years with support from Cummins Asia Pacific maintaining the company’s competitive edge in a volatile, diverse market.

PNG is a resource-rich country which sees a number of high horsepower Cummins engines involved in its diverse mining operations.

Indeed, Cummins has had a presence at the iconic Ok Tedi copper-gold mine for over 30 years thanks to its product reliability and service support.

Today, six Cat excavators, each with dual Cummins KTTA38 engines, are the backbone of the operation and are supported with parts and service from Cummins Lae.

The first of 21 new haul trucks from Chinese manufacturer XCMG, powered by Tier 2 Cummins QSK60 MCRS engines, will go into service at OK Tedi in September.

Elsewhere, K92 Mining, a Canada-based gold producer, has 21 Cummins Powerboxes at its Kainantu gold mine in Eastern Highlands Province.

These Powerboxes provide a fully integrated power system with the generator installed in a standard 20-foot ISO container. The 1250 kilo-volt-amperes gensets are powered by Cummins’ long established KTA50 engine.

Currently, two Cummins technicians are dedicated to onsite support at the K92 mine.

Cummins also supports Lihir gold mine with its fleet of QSK23 and KTA38 engines, while the Porgera joint venture and Wafi-Golpu joint venture also use Cummins power in their gold exploration and mining operations.

A new focus for Cummins PNG is the 20 Cummins X15 Euro 5 engines, powering T659 Kenworths, which have recently gone into service with Mapai Transport, Traisa Transport, Zenag Island Products and IPI Transport, all involved in logistics haulage for the mining sector. 

This feature appeared in the June–July 2024 issue of PNG Mining.

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