Anglo American PLC on Friday unveiled the world’s largest green-hydrogen-powered truck at a platinum mine in northeastern South Africa, where it aims to replace a fleet of 40 diesel-powered vehicles that use about one million liters (264,000 gallons) of each fossil fuel. A year.
The NuGen project at the Mogalakwena mine, owned by Anglo American subsidiary Anglo American Platinum Limited, will use hydroelectric power from a 140-megawatt solar plant to split the water and supply trucks, each carrying 315 tons of ore. NG SA helped Anglo establish the system.
According to Julian Souls, head of technology development, mining and sustainability at Anglo American, the project, which is expected to be fully operational by 2026, is the first step towards neutralizing the company’s eight mines by 2030. The company, which mines metals around the world, from iron ore and platinum to copper, has set a goal of achieving that status by 2040.
“People told us three years ago that this is not going to happen, it’s not a good idea. They are now taking real notice, “Souls said in a presentation in the South African city of Polokwane.
Before relocating to London in 1999, the mining company, which dominated the South African economy for eight decades, initially approached several equipment manufacturers with the idea of building a hydrogen-powered truck fleet. When it was rejected, it decided to convert its diesel fleet to use clean fuel.
“Our big mines use about 80% of our diesel costs in big trucks,” said Souls. “All we had to do was build a complete ecosystem, a solar photovoltaic site, an electrolyzer and a refueling system to create a zero-emission transport system.” “
Anglo-American’s truck fleet currently generates 10% to 15% of its so-called Scope 1 emissions, directly from its own activity, Duncan Oneblood, Anglo-American’s chief executive, said in a statement.
The use of hydrogen does not emit climate-warming gas while diesel does. And as water splits to make fuel using energy from the sun, carbon is not emitted from its production process.
The trucks are equipped with fuel cells that incorporate platinum into their components. Mogalakwena is the world’s largest open-pit platinum group metal mine.
“This is a smart move for Anglo-Americans, but it is also a huge leap forward for South Africa’s hydrogen economy,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a speech at the mine to launch the Nuzen program. “The hydrogen economy is pointing us in the right direction.”
Anglo and its global mining partners are under increasing pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve their environmental performance. The company shut down its South African thermal coal reserves last year, while rivals such as Glencore Plc promised to reduce their emissions.