ESG, Fortescue, Iron ore, News

Fortescue takes on nation’s first zero-emissions battery

Fortescue has received Australia's first prototype battery system designed for a zero-emissions battery electric mining haul truck.

Fortescue has received Australia’s first prototype system designed for a zero-emissions battery-electric mining haul truck.

The mining haul truck will be developed in partnership with Liebherr.

The 1.4MWh prototype power system is a bespoke design intended for integration into a 240-tonne mining haul truck.

The battery will be integral to Fortescue’s $6.2 billion decarbonisation strategy to help eliminate fossil fuels from its terrestrial iron ore operations.

The strategy includes replacing its existing diesel-fuelled fleet with battery-electric and green hydrogen-powered haul trucks.

A team of 50 engineers and technicians from WAE Technologies is responsible for developing the power system.

Fortescue said in a statement on Monday that the battery was completed in record time and marks several firsts for an electric mining haul truck battery, with energy storage of 1.4MWH, the ability to fast-charge in 30 minutes and capacity to regenerate power as it drives downhill.

“WAE and Fortescue are working together to seek to decarbonise faster and more effectively than any other major industrial company in the world,” Fortescue Future Industries chief executive officer Mark Hutchinson said.

“The battery system, designed for our zero-emission battery-electric mining haul trucks, is an important part of our strategy to reach real zero terrestrial emissions (Scope 1 and 2) across our iron operations by 2030.

“WAE’s battery expertise complements FFI’s (Fortescue Future Industries) green hydrogen projects and cements Fortescue as a leader in the technologies needed for the green energy transition.”

The battery will be assembled and installed at Fortescue’s Perth workshop before it is transported to the Pilbara for testing later this year.

WAE Technologies chief executive officer Craig Wilson said the delivery marks the latest milestone in the rapid development of zero-emission technology for Fortescue’s mining trucks.

“This high-performance power system not only boasts the highest energy storage of its kind, but will also be the first to offer 30-minute fast charging,” he said.

“This system is the first of many technologies that can help enable Fortescue to realise its industry-leading 2030 net-zero target. Powered solely by renewable energy, it will help prevent enormous amounts of fossil fuel from being used in the mining industry, with the goal to not compromise the vehicle’s load capacity.

“This is an inspiring example of what can be achieved combining Fortescue’s pioneering green energy vision for its global vehicles and WAE’s extensive expertise in advanced batteries.”

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