Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) and Fortescue Metals Group have inked an agreement to design, build, test and integrate a battery system to power an electric mining haul truck.
The project will involve the design and construction of a bespoke battery-electric powertrain with the ability to regenerate power as the truck travels downhill. The battery will be built at WAE’s facility in Grove, Oxfordshire, UK, before being shipped to Perth, Australia, for integration into a 240-metric ton prototype haul truck for performance testing at Fortescue’s mining operations in the Pilbara, Western Australia.
To support the implementation of a battery-electric haulage fleet, the project will also involve the development of a fast-charging unit which will harness renewable energy from Fortescue’s Pilbara Energy Connect network. For the project, WAE will draw on its high-performance battery expertise, which lies at the core of the business, covering the automotive, motorsport, marine and aerospace sectors.
Craig Wilson, managing director, Williams Advanced Engineering, commented, “We are delighted to be working with Fortescue on this pioneering project that will help enable their future decarbonization strategy, contributing to a reduction of carbon emissions in the heavy-duty mining sector. High performance battery systems are at the core of WAE. Both companies have a shared culture for innovation and rapid response and are committed to creating a sustainable future.’’
Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines added, “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.
“This includes a 26% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions from existing operations from 2020 levels by 2030. With around a quarter of these emissions attributed to our mobile haul fleet, this represents a significant opportunity to drive our pathway to being diesel free.
“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.”