In a first step to decarbonise its mining haul fleet, Fortescue Metals Group confirmed it will work with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) on the development, construction, testing and integration of a new electric-powered mining haul truck.

The miner, which last year announced its plans to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2040, is eyeing a 240-tonne prototype model, which it will test at its Pilbara operations in Australia.

The pair’s project includes a model with a bespoke battery electric powertrain that has the ability to regenerate power as the truck travels downhill. To support full implementation of a haulage fleet that is battery-electric, the companies will also include the development of a fast-charging unit to harness renewable energy using Fortescue’s Pilbara Energy Connect network.

The battery will be built at WAE’s facility in the UK, before being shipped to Perth for integration into the prototype haul truck for performance testing.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said the mining operator’s goals include 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,” she added.

Fortescue’s decarbonisation efforts also include a US$700 million investment in its Pilbara Energy Connect project, a hybrid solar-gas energy solution, and a hydrogen mobility project at the Christmas Creek complex that will involve a renewable hydrogen refuelling facility and deployment of fleet of hydrogen fuel cell passenger coach.

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