Fortescue on track to decarbonise fleet


Fortescue Metals Group has purchased two new battery-electric locomotives to transport its iron ore to port, continuing the decarbonisation of its locomotive fleet.

The eight axle locomotives will have an energy capacity of 14.5-megawatt hours and will be manufactured at the Progress Rail facility in Sete Lagoas, Brazil.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said costs and emissions will be saved by the new machines.

“The purchase of these new battery-powered locomotives marks an important milestone in the decarbonisation of Fortescue’s locomotive fleet and demonstrates our commitment to achieving carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, as we diversify from a pure play iron ore producer to a green renewables and resources company,” Gaines said.

“The new locomotives will cut our emissions while also reducing our fuel costs and our overall operational expense through lower maintenance spend.

“The acquisition builds on the work being carried out by Fortescue Future Industries’ (FFI) Green Team in Hazelmere to deliver locomotives operating solely on green ammonia and other green renewable fuels and technologies.”

FFI chief executive officer Julie Shuttleworth said that FFI is a key enabler of Fortescue’s decarbonisation strategy.

“Our Green Team has made outstanding progress in their mission to transform Fortescue’s trains, trucks, ships and other mobile equipment to operate on zero pollution fuels as soon as possible, and the purchase of these new battery powered locomotives complements this work,” Shuttleworth said.

“Fortescue and FFI are working together to demonstrate that renewables can power the energy needs of Australia’s mining and resources sector.”

Caterpillar company, Progress Rail’s president and chief executive officer Marty Haycraft said that Progress Rail looks forward to continuing to support its global customers with innovative products and services to help meet their sustainability goals.

“We are pleased to be working with the Fortescue team to determine the application, feasibility, and suitability of battery electric technology for deployment on their railway and to manufacture two of our BE14.5BB locomotives for this important project,” Haycraft said.

Fortescue is expected to take delivery of its first battery-powered locomotive in 2023.

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