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Media / Application stories / Twenty high performance compressors are lifting safety and efficiency at Dalkia’s coal mines

Twenty high performance compressors are lifting safety and efficiency at Dalkia’s coal mines


Antwerp, June 29, 2012. Dalkia Industry CZ a.s.  recently completed a multi-year process of replacing their compressed air equipment with latest technology from Atlas Copco. The modernized compressed air system offers higher safety, lower energy consumption along with a sophisticated control system, energy recovery capability and low maintenance.

In 2005, when Dalkia Industry CZ replaced the first turbocompressor at one of their mines, it literally set off an avalanche. "In just six years, Atlas Copco machines replaced the old turbocompressors on all of Dalkia’s 9 active mines," says Francesco Pinna, General Manager of Atlas Copco Compressors, Czechia. The 20th and last compressor has recently been ceremonially put into operation. Atlas Copco delivered the equipment as complete and integrated packages, equipped with all components, internal pipe systems and connections. Annually, Dalkia can produce 2.4 billion cubic meters of compressed air for the miners there.

"The main requirement is large and stable output, a pressure of 4 to 4.5 bar at a temperature below 60°C," says Laurent Tupinier, CEO of Dalkia Industry CZ, adding: "For work in mine shafts, compressed air is absolutely key for operational and safety reasons.

Lower cost, less emissions

All units, Type ZH 10000 and ZH 15000, are water-cooled, two-stage centrifugal air compressors and connected to central controllers which, if needed, alternate operation of individual compressors and monitor the entire compressor station. This safeguards that the compressors produce only the actual needed volume and unnecessary running times are avoided. The results are drastic savings of energy cost and lower CO2 emissions. Thanks to their energy recovery system, the cooling water of the compressors heats up the water used in the miner's showers, which additionally saves energy cost.

According to Dalkia, the new equipment minimizes maintenance time as the old equipment demanded constant attention and today it’s enough to inspect the compressors once or twice a shift, which only takes several minutes.

Compressed air - the safest medium

The Atlas Copco machines support miners working as far as a kilometer below the ground. When tunneling passages that air can't get through, ventilation pipes with fans are needed to exhaust not only used air, but also some methane at the same time. And compressed air is the safest propulsion medium for fans. Besides fans, in mine operation other equipment is run by compressed air, such as drilling machines, transport gates, pick hammers, hand tools and much more.

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About Dalkia

Dalkia Industry CZ a.s. is one of the most important energy groups in the Czech Republic. It has operated there since 1991 and has gradually positioned itself as a leading producer and distributor of heat and electrical energy for the Czech market. Currently, the Dalkia group in the Czech Republic employs almost 2,500 and consists of eight companies: Dalkia Czech Republic, Dalkia Kolín, Dalkia Mariánské Lázně, Olterm&TD Olomouc, AmpluServis, and since 2010 also Dalkia Industry CZ (originally called NWR Energy) including their two companies Dalkia Commodities CZ (originally CZECH-KARBON) and Dalkia Powerline (formerly NWR Energetyka Polska). For Dalkia itself, Dalkia Industry CZ serves as a worldwide standard in the mining industry, because it delivers and distributes electrical energy and produces hot water and compressed air for coal extraction in mines belonging to OKD, the largest mining company in the Czech Republic. Other clients of Dalkia Industry CZ include public sector entities

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Atlas Copco is an industrial group with world-leading positions in compressors, expanders and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. With innovative products and services, Atlas Copco delivers solutions for sustainable productivity. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries. In 2011, Atlas Copco had 37 500 employees and revenues of BSEK 81 (BEUR 9). Learn more at

Oil-free Air is a division within Atlas Copco's Compressor Technique business area. It develops, manufactures, and markets oil-free air compressors for all kind of industries worldwide where the air quality is vital, and oil-injected compressors for less critical applications. The division focuses on air optimization systems and quality air solutions to further improve customers’ productivity. The divisional headquarters for the division is located in Shanghai with main production facilities in Belgium, China, India and Brazil.