Fortescue Metals Group has signed an agreement with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) to develop an electric mining haul truck in a commitment to further decarbonise the mining industry.
The truck will have an integrated battery system involving an electric powertrain that regenerates power as the truck travels downhill.
WAE’s facility in the United Kingdom will house the battery’s build phase before sending it to Perth for integration into Fortescue’s 240-tonne prototype haul truck.
Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines acknowledged her company’s part in tackling decarbonisation.
“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,” she said.
Gaines said a quarter of Fortescue’s scope one and two emissions came from its mobile haul fleet, so the development of an electric haul truck had the potential to provide significant emissions reductions for the company.
Innovation and technology are two cornerstones of Fortescue’s growth moving forward, according to Gaines.
“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,” she said.
Similarly, WAE has a history of decarbonising haul trucks. Anglo American partnered with WAE last month to produce a hydrogen powered haul truck, with a battery capable of delivering more than 1000 kilowatt-hours of energy storage.
On its partnership with Fortescue, WAE managing director Craig Wilson said he was glad to work on another large-scale decarbonisation project.
“We are delighted to be working with Fortescue on this pioneering project that will help enable their future decarbonisation strategy, contributing to a reduction of carbon emissions in the heavy-duty mining sector,” Wilson said.
“Both companies have a shared culture for innovation and rapid response and are committed to creating a sustainable future.”
Fortescue also plans to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2040 on the back of the $US700 million ($895 million) Fortescue Pilbara Energy Connect project.