Tag Archives: electric

Chile’s SQM increases electric vehicle fleet to 34

The largest electric fleet of transport vehicles in the Chilean mining industry has been unveiled in Antofagasta by SQM in partnership with transport companies Viggo GrandLeasing, Transportes CVU and Andes Motor, as part of their sustainability plans to reduce their CO2 emissions, SQM says.

Consisting of 34 fully-electric vehicles, the fleet includes passenger buses, minibuses, vans, mobile solar checkpoints, and what it says is Chile’s first high-tonnage electric truck, making it the most diverse electric fleet in use across an entire mining operation in the country.

With the launch of the new fleet, SQM says it is on track to achieve carbon neutrality in all its products by 2040. This follows on from the company’s announcement at the end of 2021 that it was joining the UN’s Race to Zero program. SQM had already introduced Chile’s first high-tonnage electric truck, a 28 t Yutong ZKH5310ZLJP6BEV, to be used in large-scale mining onto an 86-km route from the company’s Coya Sur plant in María Elena to the port of Tocopilla, saving approximately 3,840 t/y of CO2.

The vehicles were presented on the esplanade of the Huanchaca Ruins in Antofagasta, at an event that was attended by various regional and community leaders, as well as executives and representatives from SQM and its partners. The introduction of the electric vehicles in northern Chile is especially significant as it supports efforts at a national level to decentralise electric mobility in Chile, SQM said.

José Miguel Berguño, Vice President of Corporate Services at SQM, said: “As a company we are proud to launch this fleet, contributing to the development of national electromobility and promoting the use of electric vehicles in the north of Chile, covering the regions of Antofagasta and Tarapacá, focusing on operational areas of our sites and on the transfer of all workers of SQM who live throughout the national territory.”

Hyundai CE bolsters Ulsan plant to support electric-, hydrogen-powered equipment plan

Hyundai Construction Equipment (HCE) says it is investing €150 million ($170m) in its Ulsan production plant in South Korea, increasing capacity by 50%, in a process that will support Hyundai’s growing presence in the global construction equipment market, while providing a manufacturing base for a new generation of electric- and hydrogen-powered equipment.

The investment, to be delivered over the next four years, will increase production at the plant by 4,800 units a year, bringing annual capacity to 15,000 excavators, wheel loaders and other construction models.

The company will merge the production and assembly functions currently in Factory 1 and Factory 2, into a single facility, simplifying the flow of processes and increasing savings by maximising efficiency. This will reduce the working hours involved in machine production and cut logistics costs throughout the supply chain, the company says. The move will also reflect HCE’s environmental, social and governance factors, using eco-friendly sub-materials when conducting interior and exterior finish work.

HCE said: “The company is increasing its market share in every region of the business, by responding to current market trends in the global construction equipment market and by looking ahead to the customer requirements of tomorrow’s infrastructure and construction projects. The company is also planning to benefit from the recent US launch of the ‘Build Back Better World (B3W)’ initiative for developing countries.”

HCE announced in 2020 that it planned to bring to market a range of excavators powered by hydrogen fuel cells, produced in cooperation with Hyundai Motors, which has its largest automotive plant in Ulsan. The company has already unveiled a range of hydrogen-powered industrial forklifts that are due to launch in 2023, as it continues to develop the low and zero-carbon emissions equipment that will be demanded by the customer of the future.

HCE CEO, Mr Choi Cheol-gon, said: “Strengthening the competitiveness of the Ulsan factory is the first challenge that needs to be addressed to reach the global top five, the goal of the construction equipment division of the Hyundai Heavy Industries group. With this investment, we will further raise our brand competitiveness by producing and delivering construction equipment with increased efficiency.”

In November 2020, HCE completed the construction of a technology innovation centre, investing €57.4 million. The new centre includes 16 laboratories, employing more than 100 researchers. It is involved in research and development projects focused on eco-friendly technologies, high efficiency and noise reduction technologies and a virtual verification system. The site also performs quality research and verification of components and completed equipment.

Komatsu teams with Rio, BHP, Codelco and Boliden on zero-emission mining solutions

Working together to rapidly innovate in support of carbon reduction targets, Komatsu has teamed up with several of its customers to form the Komatsu Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Alliance.

The founding members of the alliance are Rio Tinto, BHP, Codelco and Boliden.

Through the alliance framework, Komatsu’s GHG partners will work directly with Komatsu to actively collaborate on product planning, development, testing and deployment of the next generation of zero-emission mining equipment and infrastructure, the OEM said. The alliance’s initial target is advancing Komatsu’s power-agnostic truck concept for a haulage vehicle that can run on a variety of power sources including diesel-electric, electric, trolley (wired), battery power and even hydrogen fuel cells.

“We are honoured that our customers, several of the largest mining companies in the world, have agreed to participate in the Komatsu GHG Alliance and work in partnership with us to develop sustainable solutions for mining,” Masayuki Moriyama, President of Komatsu’s Mining Business Division, said. “We look forward to close collaboration with these industry leaders to accelerate development and deployment of the next level of equipment designed to reduce greenhouse gases from mining operations and ultimately achieve the goal of zero-emission mining.”

The formation of the alliance brings together mining leaders willing to share time, resources and information to deliver zero-emissions equipment solutions, Komatsu said. The company intends to expand the alliance to additional mining companies to enhance industry-wide collaboration on solutions to decarbonisation.

In a separate release, Rio Tinto said it will conduct a pre-production trial of the new equipment at a site and has the option to purchase some of the first trucks from Komatsu once they are commercially viable.

Alf Barrios, Rio Tinto’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Rio Tinto and Komatsu have a shared history of partnership on innovation going back to when we built the world’s largest Komatsu autonomous haulage fleet in 2008.

“Our support of a trial, and the option to buy some of the first trucks from Komatsu, underscores our shared commitment to actively collaborate on product planning, development, testing and deployment of the next generation of zero-emission mining equipment and infrastructure as we look to decarbonise our business.”

As a company, Komatsu, meanwhile, says it is committed to minimising environmental impact through its business, targeting a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from use of its products and production of its equipment by 2030 (compared with 2010 levels) and a challenge target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Komatsu has worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for customers through product development for decades in many areas including electric diesel dump trucks, electric power shovels, regenerative energy storage capabilities and fuel saver programs, it said.

The company’s initial concept for a haulage vehicle that can run on a variety of power sources, part of the power-agnostic development, is set to make its official debut at MINExpo 2021 on September 13-15 in Las Vegas, USA.

Aramine launches diesel-electric drill for narrow vein mining

Aramine has looked to complete its equipment range for narrow vein mines with the introduction of its diesel-electric hybrid miniDriller DM901 HDE drill rig.

The compact machine uses the diesel engine for tramming and electric motor for drilling, according to Aramine, while it can be operated tele-remotely, removing the operator from potential hazards.

The DM901 HDE has a low centre of gravity for optimal stability. Despite its narrow width, the two front stabilisers offer perfect drilling conditions, according to the company. This allows for both face and vertical drilling, Aramine said.

Aramine says the DM901 HDE only requires a 400 V electric connection and a water supply to operate and is designed with modular elements for easy assembly/disassembly in a mine. It “sneaks wherever our L130 and L150 miniLoaders go”, Aramine said. This means the new machine is ideal for sections between 6 sq.m and 12 sq.m.

With an existing partnership between Aramine and Epiroc, the company can offer an exclusive optional version with an Epiroc Feed and Drifter, Aramine said.

“As most of Aramine machines are, the DM901 HDE complements perfectly the Epiroc range,” Arnaud Paul, Aramine Equipment Sales Director, said.

Aramine says it is preparing its fully-electric battery-powered version for 2020, with innovations at all levels of the machine.