Volt Power Group’s 70% owned subsidiary, EcoQuip Australia, has secured an agreement with BHP Iron Ore Pty Ltd to conduct a trial of its zero emission, “zero OPEX” and maintenance EcoQuip Mobile Solar Light Tower (MSLT).
Volt CEO and Managing Director, Adam Boyd, said the EcoQuip team had worked diligently over the last six months to develop a specific MSLT design update to satisfy BHP’s HSE standards and autonomous capability requirements.
The three EcoQuip BHP MSLTs that are the subject of the trial will be assembled and commissioned for scheduled deployment in June 2022, he added.
The new trial follows an initial 15-month BHP MSLT trial in 2020/21 during which BHP personnel trialled the EcoQuip MSLT in multiple duty locations at the BHP Pilbara iron ore operations.
The EcoQuip MSLT4 is designed, built and tested to US military standards, meaning maximum performance in the toughest, most remote conditions, the company says. They come equipped with lithium ferro phosphate batteries and can be controlled or monitored anywhere in the world, at any time, using a phone, a browser and a Wi-Fi/4G connection.
EcoQuip’s latest Generation MSLT and Mobile Solar Communications Tower have been successfully deployed to EcoQuip clients including Airobotics, Chevron, Thiess Contracting, John Holland and NRW.
Boyd said: “The BHP MSLT deployment is for a three-to-six-month period to allow BHP to complete a comprehensive MSLT technical evaluation and performance assessment. A successful trial outcome is the next critical step in EcoQuip’s objective to be selected to assist BHP to achieve its significant carbon intensity reduction targets across its global operations.”
BHP has agreed to pay the hire cost of the BHP MSLTs during the term of the trial deployment.
According to Boyd, displacing each site-based traditional diesel fuelled mobile light tower with an EcoQuip BHP MSLT will abate CO2 emissions, reduce hire/operating costs by circa-40-50% and reduce site-based service personnel requirements.
“The BHP MSLT data telemetry, data analytics reporting and remote performance control capabilities can deliver improved reliability, productivity and reduce HSE risks associated with diesel fuelled light tower service activities,” he said.
A theoretical MSLT deployment of 300 units across BHP’s global asset portfolio over a 10-year period could reduce diesel fuel consumption by around 20 million litres, reduce Scope 1 CO2 emissions by circa-50,000 t and save some A$65 million ($47 million) in equipment, maintenance and operating costs, according to the company.
The development of the BHP MSLT was completed concurrently with the development of EcoQuip’s new Autonomous Communications Sentry that was trialled by the Commonwealth of Australia in April 2022.