Fortescue Metals Group has announced an agreement with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) to design, build, test and integrate a battery system to power an electric mining haul truck, as an important first step to decarbonising its mining haul fleet.
The project includes the design and construction of a bespoke battery-electric powertrain with the ability to regenerate power as the truck travels downhill.
The battery will be built at WAE’s facility in the United Kingdom, 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, Western Australia.
To support the full implementation of a battery-electric haulage fleet, the project will also involve the development of a fast-charging unit that will harness renewable energy from Fortescue’s Pilbara Energy Connect network.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the planet and Fortescue is committed to tackling this challenge head-on through its industry-leading target to achieve net-zero operational emissions by 2040.
“This includes a 26 per cent 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,” Ms Gaines said.
“Fortescue’s history of developing and adopting innovation and technology has been key to the success of our business and in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, we look forward to applying this technology-first strategy to our emissions reduction pathway.”
WAE Managing Director, Craig Wilson,said the pioneering project will help enable Fortescue’s future decarbonisation strategy, contributing to a reduction of carbon emissions in the heavy-duty mining sector.
“Both companies have a shared culture for innovation and rapid response and are committed to creating a sustainable future,” he said.