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Karowe Cool: IWC’s cooling solution beats Botswana’s heat

Amidst the scorching heat and diamond rich landscapes of Botswana, a unique challenge emerged – cooling excellence without the hassle. The demand was clear: a cooling solution that would harmonize with the unforgiving African sun while minimising site installation time and a need for extensive maintenance.


A cooling solution to facilitate the exploration of diamonds at the Karowe mine in Botswana. A cooling solution that required minimal site installation time and as little maintenance as possible.


In consultation with our client, Howden, it was concluded that the IWC FM range of cooling towers would be best suited for the chillers’ condenser circuit of 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. Our cooling towers will be used for the BAC project which is part of mine deepening project started in 2021.  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.

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

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

A further project requirement was a solution that would involve little maintenance and our recommendation was a direct drive solution that requires no gearbox oil changes.

Each cooling tower is equipped with four fans, each directly driven by a 6 pole,5.5kW, 525 electric motor. Our 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.  Our skilled engineering team designed a solution to ensure that the ventilation shaft gets 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.