Anglo American partners with Engie to develop hydrogen-powered haul truck
Anglo American announced in October that it would partner with Engie to develop the world’s largest hydrogen-powered mine haul truck to be used at Anglo American’s Mogalakwena platinum group metals mine in South Africa.
If successful, the project would create a zero-emission haul truck and Anglo American would convert the entire fleet of haul trucks at the mine to hydrogen, as well as at Anglo American’s other mining operations around the world.
This ambitious new project is part of Anglo American’s innovation-led approach to sustainable mining, FutureSmart Mining, which applies innovative thinking and technological advances to address mining’s major sustainability challenges.
Engie, a global low-carbon energy group, will provide the hydrogen generation solutions and Anglo American is developing the truck, marks the first time a truck of this size and load capacity has been converted to run on hydrogen.
In December, the project got another participant when Nel technology signed on to deliver a 3.5MW electrolyser to Engie, to be used as an element of Engie’s hydrogen solution to produce renewable hydrogen for the truck.
‘First motion’ of the hydrogen powered truck is expected in 2020, followed by a testing and validation program at Anglo American’s Mogalakwena platinum group metals mine in South Africa. Operational performance of the converted trucks is expected to be the same or better than the original diesel trucks, with the additional benefits of cleaner air, less noise and lower maintenance costs.
Tony O’Neill, Technical Director of Anglo American, said in a release: “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with ENGIE and we look forward to developing and implementing this step-change technology. As part of our Smart Power Project, where we analysed our mine site power requirements and applied a unique decision process on how we look at renewable energy systems and their benefits, we came up with a mix that allows us to be carbon neutral and have a very different footprint.
“This is part of our plan to create a smart energy mix that moves us closer towards our carbon and energy targets for 2030 and, ultimately, our vision of operating a carbon-neutral mine.”
Michele Azalbert, CEO of Engie’s hydrogen business, commented: “The solution aims to help decarbonise the mining sector. Anglo American’s global footprint and its journey to operational carbon neutrality are aligned with ENGIE’s strategy to develop large-scale integrated hydrogen solutions in local and global markets.”
The agreement was signed by the two companies onboard the Energy Observer during the London stop of its round-the-world voyage. As the world’s first fully electric vessel powered exclusively by hydrogen and renewable energies, the Energy Observer is a fully functioning example of the full decarbonization solution that Anglo American and ENGIE are working toward.
Photo: Anglo American operations in South Africa. Credit: Anglo American.