World’s largest hydrogen haul truck ready to roll in South Africa

Anglo American recently pulled back the introductory curtain on its prototype hydrogen-battery hybrid haul truck, the largest in the world, at its Mogalakwena PGM operation in South Africa.

The 2-megawatt machine has a 290-tonne/320-ton payload and using multiple fuel cells can generate more power than its diesel predecessor. The truck is part of Anglo American’s nuGen Zero Emission Haulage Solution (ZEHS); nuGen is a fully integrated green hydrogen system at the site that consists of production, fuelling and a haulage system, with green hydrogen to be produced at the mine site. Specifically, the system will draw from a solar farm to supply the hydrogen electrolyser to split water.

Anglo officials have called the unveiling a vital step toward reducing carbon emissions over time, as nuGen is part of FutureSmart Mining sustainable mining initiative.

Chief executive Duncan Wanblad elaborated: “With diesel emissions from our haul truck fleet accounting for c.10-15% of our total Scope 1 emissions, this is an important step on our pathway to carbon neutral operations by 2040. The mining industry is playing a considerable role in helping the world decarbonise, both through our own emissions footprint and the metals and minerals that we produce that are critical to low carbon energy and transport systems.”

He noted that, in the coming several years, Anglo American is targeting the conversion of replacement of its entire fleet from diesel power to zero-emission haulage with green hydrogen.

“If this pilot is successful, we could remove up to 80% of diesel emissions at our open pit mines by rolling this technology across our global fleet,” he added.

Tony O’Neill, who serves as technical director for the miner, confirmed the FutureSmart Mining journey that began in 2014 has changed the game.

“We are incredibly proud of what our team, working with expert partners, has achieved in under three years. This is truly a world-class innovation and bears testament to our technical vision and determination to deliver a cleaner and smarter future for mining.”

South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the South African National Development Institute (SANEDI) have partnered with Anglo American, Bambili Energy and ENGIE to grow opportunities in a region to be called Hydrogen Valley. The proposed area will stretch approximately 835 kilometres from the platinum group metals-rich Bushveld geological area in Limpopo province, along the industrial and commercial corridor to Johannesburg and to the south coast at Durban.

The nuGen zero emission haulage solution is one of the first projects for South Africa’s Hydrogen Valley.

Source: Anglo American

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