Australian mining group Fortescue Metals has signed an agreement with UK-based engineering business Williams Advanced Engineering to jointly develop a zero-emissions battery-electric mining haul truck.
Fortescue Metals has spent the last year taking steps towards decarbonising its mining business, announcing in January of last year that it would add another 150MW of solar PV and another big battery to its iron ore operations in the Pilbara region, and also rolling out a series of autonomous vehicle trials.
Fortescue and Williams will first design and construct a bespoke battery electric powertrain for one of the mammoth mining haul trucks, building in the ability to regenerate power as the truck travels downhill.
Meanwhile, a battery for the truck will be built at Williams’ facility in the UK before being shipped to Perth for integration into a 240-tonne prototype haul truck for performance testing at Fortescue’s mining operations in the Pilbara region.
The partnership will also include the development of a fast-charging unit which would harness the electricity generated by Fortescue’s Pilbara Energy Connect network that will include the solar plant and big battery.
“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the planet and Fortescue is committed to tackling this challenge head on through our industry leading target to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2040,” said Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines, in a statement.
“This includes a 26% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions from existing operations from 2020 levels by 2030. With around a quarter of these emissions attributed to our mobile haul fleet, this represents a significant opportunity to drive our pathway to being diesel free.”