LEADING Australian end-to-end rail technology solutions provider United Group Rail has just delivered 10 of the latest GE —Transportation Evolution Series locomotives to Pilbara Iron – a member of the Rio Tinto Group.
The 10 GE ES44DC locomotives, which were manufactured at GE’s Erie operation in Pennsylvania, USA, were delivered to Rio Tinto’s port facility at Dampier for transport to the company’s nearby Seven Mile Yard for fit out and commissioning.
The locomotives are initially being used for hauling iron ore from the company’s Hope Downs Iron Ore Project— a 50% joint venture between Rio Tinto and the Hancock Group situated 75 km north west of the town of Newman in the Pilbara region.
GE — Transportation developed the Evolution Series locomotive as part of their ‘ecomagination’ initiative — a company wide commitment to developing technology designed to help customers satisfy environmental challenges by maximising locomotive performance, whilst minimising life cycle costs.
The locomotives are powered by GE’s latest GEVO -12 engines.
These produce 4,400 horsepower, offer 40% less emissions, improved fuel efficiency and extended overhaul intervals.
In-built technology also facilitates easier maintenance and faster repairs.
“The new locomotives added to the businesses increasingly efficient and sustainable mining operations and are a vital cog in our expansion of Pilbara operations,” Rio Tinto Iron Ore General Manager Railway Division Richard Cohen said.
We are looking forward to the improvements in fleet maintenance and performance that will flow from this investment.
“With growing awareness of the issues surrounding climate change, we believe that there are exciting opportunities to help railways operate more sustainably,” United Group Rail Chief Executive, Andy Summers said.
“We demonstrate our value proposition by bringing to market advanced technologies on new locomotives like these, re-engineering existing products and implementing asset management strategies that take into consideration reduced life-cycle costs.”
“With the trend towards more environmentally considerate business imperatives, smarter, more cost-effective solutions like GE’s Evolution Series locomotives have considerable potential within the Asia Pacific and the Pilbara region of Western Australia in particular.”