Tag Archives: FastCharge

ABB and real progress in mine electrification with eMine™ portfolio

For more than 130 years, ABB has been embedded in industries where emissions are hard to abate and where alternative solutions are either unavailable or difficult to practically implement. The same is true today with mining, with ABB showcasing that the power of bold ideas and pioneering technologies can overcome challenges the sector is experiencing.

In the mining industry, ABB says ‘Real Progress’ means helping customers through their energy transition, with integrated electrification, automation and digital, combined with world-class technologies for hoisting and grinding. The ABB eMine™ portfolio of solutions is one example, empowering companies to convert fossil fuel-reliant mines to all-electric.

ABB’s Mehrzad Ashnagaran, Global Product Line Manager Electrification (left) & Ratna Kanth Dittakavi, Global eMine Sales Manager

In Sweden and Canada, ABB’s eMine Trolley System has been in operation at large, open-pit mines where diesel trucks are retrofitted to run on electric trolley lines while transporting ore. Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (now part of Hudbay Minerals) has reported that the electrified solution has resulted in a 90% reduction in carbon emissions for the electrified trucks running on trolley, compared with the diesel-powered trucks, while they also run at twice the speed.

Also in Canada, the eMine FastCharge high-power electric charging solution for haul trucks is being put through its paces, with the flexible and fully automated solution designed for the harshest mining environments.

IM spoke with ABB’s Mehrzad Ashnagaran, Global Product Line Manager Electrification, and Ratna Kanth Dittakavi, Global eMine Sales Manager, to find out more about the company’s electrification advances ahead of their appearances at The Electric Mine 2024, in Perth, Western Australia, taking place at the Crown Perth Complex, on May 21-23.

IM: It’s been almost three years since ABB launched its eMine portfolio of solutions. How would you say the mining industry’s reception to electrifying their operations has changed over this timeframe?

MA and RKD: At the time ABB eMine™ was launched in 2021, conversation around integrated electrification and automation with multiple vendors working together was in isolated pockets around the globe. Since then, we can say that from a stage of infancy mining operators and their industry partners have grown. The path of technology development and implementation has footprints along it as these collaborators have increased interest and uptake. Electric-driven equipment and electrical infrastructure is now being put in place in certain geographies – in Europe and North America, for example, where access to greener forms of energy is more obvious. Moreover, the industry as a whole is widely agreed that electric systems, combining automated elements, smart solutions and user-friendly interfacing, are the future. It will take time, but legislation and policies from governments are moving in the right direction to support electrification. ABB has seen this first hand through our recent invite on to European Association of Mining Industries (Euromines) committees to support with the promotion and consideration of responsible industry practices.

IM: Over that same timeframe, how has the eMine portfolio of solutions evolved? Have you felt the need to accelerate your solution development to serve the requirements of the industry?

MA and RKD: As well as being a portfolio of solutions, ABB eMine™ is an overall approach and way thinking, and it has been recognized as such. It has a purpose to make the all-electric mine possible and a route to do this with proven methods, electrification and automation systems from mine to port. But, focusing on the technologies in the nearly three years since launch, we have continued to drive, and at times accelerate, developments alongside close partners and customers. Take, for example, eMine™ Trolley System, which has moved on from only being a solution for large ultra-class diesel haul trucks in open-pit mines. It has recently been engineered for use in underground mines in tandem with battery-electric trolley trucks – bringing part of the all-electric mine to life in reality with Swedish partners Boliden and Epiroc. Meanwhile, our ABB engineers have developed eMine™ FastCharge as an engineered solution for customers. The power capacity of the fully automated charging system is now being steadily increased through research and development with the aim of being compatible with some of the world’s largest trucks.

IM: Are you seeing more mining companies opening to collaboration to solve some of the tricker electrification challenges they facing? Is ABB doing the same?

MA and RKD: Electrification has enormous potential for the mining industry in terms of operational cost savings, future-ready mine designs and shoring up energy supplies in the face of uncertainty around global supply chain issues for fossil fuels. An electric mine looks very different to a traditional mine on paper and over the landscape, so ABB has found that mining companies are looking to us from the earliest stages of planning. If, together, we have a chance to think about mine power requirements, ehouses and substations, truck routes, ramps and inclines, stoppages where charging could be carried out, people and equipment movements, it has a better result than trying to force or retrofit technologies. Once a mine is laid out, it’s not easy to change. eMine has been a door opener to effective conversations around not only electrification, but automation, digital solutions and service because the best planning is holistic. ABB can help customers to find out what will fit to the mine operations, often with inputs from key technology partners. In terms of electrical technology, it could be conveyor versus haul truck, or hoist versus conveyor and trucks. The combinations have to be investigated and agreed for the specific mine operation.

IM: Would you say the collaborations you have in place with Antofagasta Minerals and Boliden/Epiroc – which will be showcased at The Electric Mine 2024 – are representative of this shift in mindset?

MA and RKD: When we speak about customers in as diverse regions as northern Europe and South America, there are significant distinctions to be made, of course, but we have seen that customers worldwide are taking on the challenge of electrification, using resources available to their regions and adapting technologies to suit their environments. It’s well-documented that Sweden is a technology leader in mining, with established use of hydro power and some of the most advanced electrification and automation embedded in their operations. The new developments with Boliden and Epiroc are one example of ABB’s involvement in continuing to push the boundaries alongside industry peers. Taking the challenges in South America, mining companies are often working with remote sites at high altitude that don’t have well-connected infrastructure or reliable electrical grids. As a technology provider we consider the specifics of each location, such as where the nearest medium voltage connection is or how we can support operators to make adjustments from the safety of operations centers far from harsh natural environments.

IM: More widely, how do you define ABB’s unique offering to the mining sector when it comes to electrification? Where is the company’s expertise and offering proving decisive on projects?

MA and RKD: In terms of heritage, ABB has more than 130 years of history in the electrification of mining, beginning when our company first electrified a mine hoist in Sweden in the 1890s. But, since then, ABB has passed on expertise in electrical engineering from generation to generation and has driven innovations and advancements. We use technologies as an enabler, but always with the awareness that change should be expected – every technology we are speaking about today is developing. Mining companies are basing their decarbonization initiatives, strategies and planning on the expectation that these solutions with acceptable technology readiness levels will be available in time aligned with their decarbonization goals and road map. Through early engagement and by working together on industry-agnostic, interoperable solutions that can be adapted in line with new technologies gives a level of peace of mind. We work with customers to deploy the best available and bring the future ecosystem today – combining electrification, automation and digitalization for the highest levels of productivity, safety and sustainability.

IM: In addition to what you have already discussed above, what can attendees of The Electric Mine 2024 look forward to hearing about next week?

MA and RKD: In a world first, ABB and Epiroc, will take to the stage to jointly share the background, technical details and vision from the implementation of their underground trolley system for battery-electric haul trucks at Boliden’s Kristineberg mine in Sweden. Since announcing the technology milestone this year, we’ve engaged in important industry conversations signalling that this is just the start of a new era. Together with Franck Boudreault, Underground Application Expert – Electrification, Epiroc, I (Mehrzad) will speak on this exciting project. Further to this, we will share further details of decarbonisation in the all-important copper segment in South America, focusing on the role of collaboration in hitting net zero. Tomás Nass, Decarbonization Manager, Antofagasta Minerals, Chile, will host the presentation in partnership with myself (Ratna). Finally, Dr Fabiana Cavalcante, Global Head of Mobile e-Power, ABB Traction, is set to present a view on diesel to electric drivetrain conversion activity with Nuh Cement’s zero emission dump truck in Türkiye. The mining industry is ready for electrification and we look forward to engaging with contacts, colleagues and delegates at this major event.

ABB is a Gold Sponsor of The Electric Mine 2024, with the company having a major indoor display in the exhibition hall. Both Mehrzad Ashnagaran and Ratna Kanth Dittakavi will be on stage at the event as part of joint presentations during Day 1 of the event. Find out more about The Electric Mine 2024 by going to www.theelectricmine.com

ABB launches eMine portfolio with FastCharge and Trolley System highlights

ABB’s efforts to accelerate the move towards a zero-carbon mine have been strengthened with the launch of its ABB Ability™ eMine portfolio of solutions and the unveiling of its eMine FastCharge solution, billed by the company as the world’s fastest and most powerful charging system that is designed to interface with all makes of electric mining haul trucks.

eMine comprises a portfolio of electrification technologies to make the all-electric mine possible from mine to port and is integrated with digital applications and services to monitor and optimise energy usage, ABB says. It can electrify any mining equipment across hoisting, grinding, hauling and material handling.

From 2022, it will include new ABB Ability eMine FastCharge, which provides high-power electric charging for haul trucks and is currently in pilot phase. It also incorporates the ABB Ability eMine Trolley System, which can reduce diesel consumption by up to 90%, significantly lowering energy costs and environmental impact.

“The global mining industry is undergoing one of the most significant and important transformations of our generation – and that is to become zero-carbon,” Max Luedtke, Global Head of Mining at ABB, says. “ABB Ability eMine is an exciting milestone to help convert existing mining operations from fossil fuel energy to all-electric. Mines can become even more energy efficient with vastly reduced levels of CO₂ emissions, while at the same time staying competitive and ensuring high productivity.”

eMine FastCharge can serve as a cornerstone of the transition to fully electrified mines across the industry, according to ABB.

This flexible and fully automated solution is being designed for the harshest environments, can be installed anywhere and can charge any electric truck without human intervention at up to 600 kW, ABB says.

Charging time will depend on the battery capacity on-board the haul truck and the operational profile, however, in many instances, a suitable state of charge could be reached within 15 minutes, the company claims.

“With eMine, ABB is extending its capabilities to the electrification of mining trucks and technologies for the full mining process,” the company said.

“eMine provides integral design planning and thinking to maximise the value of electrification, helping to design the hauling process in the most optimised way with electrical solutions that match mine constraints and help meet production targets.”

ABB says it helps mine operators map their journey towards an all-electric mine from phasing out diesel to embedding a new mindset and new team skills.

“By fully integrating electrification and digital systems from the mine to the port, eMine further reduces overall costs and improves mine performance while significantly lowering environmental impact.”