Tag Archives: Mine Energy Solutions

Thiess signs ‘industry first’ dual-fuel agreement with Mine Energy Solutions

Thiess has signed an agreement with Australia-based Mine Energy Solutions that could see the use of locally-sourced gas to displace diesel in large mining trucks using MES’ “currently available and proven” dual-fuel technology.

The agreement to bring lower emission, dual-fuel technology to Thiess’ mining fleet represents a first for a mining services provider in the industry, the company said.

The partnership will commence with the conversion of a fleet of six mining trucks and seek to source gas on site to allow the removal of the equivalent B Double diesel deliveries from local highways, reducing congestion and making it safer for regional families, Thiess said. Longer term, Thiess and MES will seek to expand to full fleet conversion before exploring further opportunities both within Australia and Internationally.

Thiess CEO, Douglas Thompson, said: “Partnerships like this ensure Thiess is playing a role in reducing emissions on our operations and leading the path to decarbonisation of the industry.”

MES’ CEO, Adrian Abbott, added: “We’re proud to partner with Thiess and apply this technology in the Bowen Basin. Our focus is to use locally-sourced gas through the capture and use of fugitive methane contained in the coal resource to enable the average mine site to reduce their greenhouse gas footprint by more than 550,000 t of CO2-e per annum.”

MES’ High Density Compressed Natural Gas (HDCNG®) technology was previously trialled at the New Acland coal mine in Queensland, Australia, with help from New Hope Group and Hastings Deering. This saw a Cat 789C haul truck converted from diesel use to dual-fuel operation using natural gas as the dominant fuel through sequential gas injection.

MES off to fast start with dual fuel haul truck engine conversion tech

Mine Energy Solutions (MES) is building on the recent dual fuel hybrid truck trial it ran with project partners New Hope Group and Hastings Deering at the New Acland coal mine in Queensland, Australia, and hopes to roll out its first commercial fleet at an operation in the state’s Bowen Basin late next year.

The trial on a Cat 789C haul truck took place over the past two years at New Acland and involved the conversion of high horse powered diesel engines from 100% diesel to dual fuel operation, using natural gas as the dominant fuel through sequential gas injection.

MES’ Graham Box provided IM with some more insight into the High Density Compressed Natural Gas (HDCNG®) technology, owned and developed by MES shareholder Intelligas, and the company’s business model.

Mr Box said MES, which doesn’t sell a product or a kit but a “fully-funded energy proposition”, uses bespoke designs for each truck model conversion it works on.

The incorporation of Type 4 carbon fibre cylinders to store the gas – which is compressed and stored at 350 bar (5,000 psi) using patented technology – is one of the ways the company has got around the weight and space constraints that previously limited technology using compressed natural gas and LNG on truck engines.

A lightweight non-invasive engine augmentation and on-board control system also help alleviate this issue, according to Mr Box.

“Remember, our gas remains in a gaseous state and is not liquefied,” he added.

The haul truck fuel conversion packs use HDCNG® proprietary gas cylinder filling technology to achieve energy densities approximately double that of conventional compressed natural gas storage systems and approaching two thirds of the density of LNG without the operational complexity and cost of LNG cryogenic storage and handling, according to MES.

“This enables mine trucks to achieve high levels of diesel displacement whilst carrying sufficient fuel on board for a full work shift and not adversely affecting payload,” the company said.

The system has been developed to achieve sufficient fuel storage quantities on board the machine for a full work shift of up to 12 hours. In mine haul trucks, a slim-line diesel fuel tank (and if required a slim-line hydraulic oil tank) replaces the existing tanks allowing for the introduction of HDCNG® fuel packs for the storage of gas on the machine.

The trial at New Acland took place on a Cat 3516B engine, yet Mr Box said the company is “well advanced” or has “completed development work” on a number of other OEMs and models.

“Our first commercial conversions will be on either a Liebherr or Komatsu mine haul truck,” he said. “We are targeting large trucks/engines, with the 789C, or equivalent, the smallest we will do.”

In addition to preparing for its first commercial fleet agreement late next year, Mr Box said deliveries are expected in the US and Western Australia’s Pilbara region in the following two years.

This is just for starters, with qualified opportunities in Canada, South America, India, Russia, South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Indonesia and Mexico, according to Mr Box.

“The best testament for us is feedback from mining companies who have been searching for the type of technology we have developed,” he said.

“We have been told by some of the world’s largest miners that there is clear daylight between our technology and anything else out there, including from the OEMs. It has been MES’ choice to position our commercial pathway in a targeted and controlled fashion and we are working closely and collaboratively with our pathfinder customers and these other mining companies.”

New Hope for dual fuel hybrid trucks following Australia coal mine trial

Major players in the mining sector are clambering over each other to get a part of the new dual-fuel hybrid truck that has been doing circuits for the past two years at New Hope Group’s New Acland coal mine in Queensland, Australia, according to the mining company.

The mine was the place of choice to conduct the trial of the latest innovative technology in dual fuel trucks by project partners Mine Energy Solutions (MES) and Hastings Deering.

General Manager of New Acland mine, David Vink says the project was a great example of industry collaboration.

“We provided the trial site and wherewithal, MES the technology and Hastings Deering the hardware – so to speak (truck and engines),” he said.

He explains the revolutionary technology enables the conversion of high horse powered diesel engines from 100% diesel to dual fuel operation, using natural gas as the dominant fuel through sequential gas injection. The trial was on a Cat 789C haul truck (pictured).

“When MES first looked for project partners in Queensland, there was no one interested,” Vink said.

“But we could see the potential for this technology from the outset.

“Now, after nearly 24 months operating on site, clocking more than 6,200 hours, we’ve piqued the interest of the big boys and the sceptics.

“We’ve taken the technology from an R&D project to ready for commercial application. Actually beyond that – it has already been taken up commercially which has signalled the end of the trial.”

Vink said the trial was originally planned to run for just six months in 2016 but, off the back of data collected as the trial progressed, the technology itself evolved even further.

“The trial is complete, MES’s technology has been proven and we are pleased to be part of this exciting project that is now going global,” Vink said.