Fortescue makes a beeline for green rail

Fortescue

Image: Fortescue Metals Group.

Fortescue Metals Group has welcomed two new locomotives to its research and development facility outside Perth as the miner tests a new fuel system to decarbonise rail freight.

The testing will be handled by Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), a Fortescue subsidiary, as the new trains join a two-stroke version from earlier in the year.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said much was to be learned about how to achieve the company’s emission reduction targets.

“The arrival of the additional locomotives allows FFI’s Green Team to expand their development as they focus on delivering a locomotive operating solely on green ammonia and other green renewable fuels and technologies,” Gaines said.

“This is part of Fortescue’s ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2030 for Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Our target is underpinned by a pathway to decarbonisation as we focus on investing in renewable energy and eliminating the use of diesel across our mining fleets.”

The miner has been trialling the use of hydrogen, ammonia and battery power for trains, ship engines, haul trucks and drill rigs, in a combined effort to decarbonise.

FFI chief executive officer Julie Shuttleworth recognised the importance of the subsidiary to Fortescue’s overall mining operations.

“FFI is a key enabler of Fortescue’s decarbonisation strategy, and it is pleasing to see such rapid progress being made by our Green Team,” Shuttleworth said.

“We are investing in research and development to transform Fortescue’s trains, trucks and ships on the road, rail and sea with zero pollution fuels as soon as possible.”

A demo locomotive is expected to be deployed in 2022 for Fortescue’s rail operations.

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