Ferrexpo set to deploy 14 km of trolley lines across all three main mining pits

Iron ore miner Ferrexpo aims to be the first mining company in Ukraine to electrify its full truck fleet, connecting the vehicles to overhead electric cables for trolley assist and thereby use more green energy instead of traditional diesel. This will allow it to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and would represent a significant step forward in sustainable development and environmental responsibility.

The plan dates back some years, with the the Executive Committee approving the first stage of the electrification of the mining fleet in early 2022, representing planning activities for the installation of a trolley-assist network up the haul ramp at its mines. This followed scoping studies carried out in 2021. With the Ukraine-Russia conflict there have been delays but Ferrexpo now says this first stage will involve electrifying 14 km of haul roads in all three main open pit operations of Poltava Mining, Yeristovo Mining and Belanovo Mining.

It adds that it is currently analysing results of previous testing and are preparing a pilot programme for on-site integration. Collaboration with ABB in developing the conceptual design and specification of the equipment has been a crucial part of this project. The aim is to decrease emissions by 50% by 2030 and attain carbon neutrality by 2050. In terms of the energy source, Ferrexpo already operates a solar power plant in Ukraine with a capacity of 5 MW, and it is working on an additional 10.8 MW solar plant.

Taras Zinchenko, Ferrexpo Yeristovo Mine (FYM) Acting General Director, told IM that the current truck fleet includes mechanical drive Caterpillar 793, 789 and 785 and electric drive Hitachi EH3500 trucks. He said that the future intention is also to purchase larger mining trucks with a 300 ton capacity as part of the implementation of the trolley system. With regard to ABB he added that Ferrexpo has already signed a contract for ABB to design the electrical infrastructure for the trolley deployment.