Tag Archives: Nuh Cement

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 on the final piece of the electrification puzzle

Every train, industrial, or transportation vehicle needs a unique traction powertrain for operation, with ABB, through its Traction division, holding a complete and flexible product portfolio that, it says, allows it to build the perfect electrification solution for operators to transition businesses to more sustainable and lower cost operations.

Each of these solutions can be tailored to customer requirements and the operating conditions of each vehicle that it powers, enabling maximum energy efficiency, zero carbon emissions and high reliability.

The company is able to leverage high-tech e-mobility and rail system traction converters, energy storage systems and electric vehicle charging solutions as part of its offering, complementing this with enhanced expertise to help accelerate the transition to all-electric operations.

One project where its impact has been felt is at Nuh Cement in Turkey where ABB is working jointly with the company to convert 10 mainly Euclid/Hitachi dump trucks with an average 160 ton capacity, which have completed their 30-year service life, from diesel engine power to electric.

This is one of the first mining truck battery conversion projects of its kind in the world and will be discussed in more detail during a presentation at The Electric Mine 2024.

Ahead of the event, taking place at the Crown Perth Complex, on May 21-23, we spoke with Fabiana Cavalcante, Head of Mobile e-Power at ABB, to find out more about the offering.

IM: ABB’s Traction division is working within a very competitive landscape when it comes to e-mobility in mining. What would you say are your unique selling points to the industry?

FC: We bring over 130 years of experience in mining electrification, combined with extensive expertise in electrification and charging infrastructure for cars, buses and trucks. This allows us to extend our capabilities to the final piece of the puzzle: electrifying mobile equipment.

Fabiana Cavalcante, Head of Mobile e-Power at ABB

Our journey began by utilising our unique knowledge in rail propulsion systems and adapting it to the harsh environment of mining. Our roots in electrifying the Swiss railway network over a century ago have established us as leaders in sustainable transportation solutions. We have translated this experience to increase energy efficiency, reliability and reduce emissions across rail networks, electric buses and other heavy vehicles. The building blocks of the technology are similar, making for a smooth transition.

Besides this, what truly sets us apart is our capacity to execute customised customer projects. Battery-electric propulsion requires more personalisation compared to diesel, and our history as an independent supplier has equipped us with the skills, mindset and a perfect portfolio of proven base components to adapt quickly and in larger quantities than any other company.

IM: You work with multiple OEMs and solution providers across the globe looking to electrify their operations. Are most of these companies looking to electrify their offerings during a similar timeframe?

FC: Many mining operators have ambitious sustainability targets, aiming to reduce their Scope 1 and 2 emissions by at least 30% by 2030. By 2050, many operators aim to achieve net-zero emissions, and the only path to that is by electrifying their mining vehicle fleets. If every truck in every mine were electrified, we could remove 198,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each day. Mining operators and OEMs recognise the potential to minimise their carbon footprint, and while this transition won’t happen overnight, we’re excited to partner with them and guide them on their electric journey.

IM: How often are you interacting directly with the operators during these types of projects? At this stage, is it often a collaboration between ABB, the OEM and the client?

FC: The level of interaction varies from project to project. In some cases, we have limited direct engagement with the mine operator, while in others, we are heavily involved. A recent example is our collaboration with Boliden and Epiroc, where we worked together to create the first battery-electric trolley truck system for underground mining. This close partnership was crucial to bringing this innovative project to life.

IM: In this regard, how does your work with Nuh Cement on converting its diesel powered fleet to electric power stand out from the work you normally carry out? Why is Nuh Cement able to collaborate directly with ABB on such a project?

FC: Nuh Cement approached us with the goal of converting their existing mining fleet of Euclid/Hitachi dump trucks to electric power and we officially began the project in 2022. We have vast experience in retrofitting vehicles for the rail business and we followed the same approach and procedures for the haul trucks.

The steep ramps with up to 20% gradient required us to pay close attention to ensure that the electric trucks could meet the expected performance and efficiency levels. This involved intense collaboration between both parties to translate simulations into practical, real-world solutions. Working closely with Nuh Cement, we tailored our solutions to fit their specific operational requirements and made sure our technologies aligned with their vision for a sustainable future. We hope many more mine operators will soon start to electrify their fleet and we’re excited to closely partner with them throughout their journey.

IM: Are you able to provide a sneak preview of what you will present at The Electric Mine 2024 in Perth about the Nuh Cement project? How has this project advanced since it was announced back in 2022?

FC: I’m excited to share the results of our groundbreaking collaboration with Nuh Cement at the event. Our partnership led to the successful electrification of a haul truck, demonstrating ABB’s ability to retrofit diesel-powered vehicles into fully electric ones – a milestone with significant implications for the mining industry. This transformation of a 30-year-old vehicle into a net-zero haul truck sets a new standard for sustainable mining practices worldwide.

Additionally, attendees will hear from Nuh Cement’s CEO, Kamil Gökhan Bozkurt, who will provide insights into this key project.

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

FC: I encourage everyone to visit our team at booth 58 during the conference. Attendees will have the chance to explore our latest technology and innovations, including a preview of our new energy storage system, which offers exceptional lifespan, power and safety. We look forward to seeing you all there!

ABB is a Gold Sponsor of The Electric Mine 2024, with the company having a major indoor display in the exhibition hall. Fabiana Cavalcante will be on stage at the event presenting, ‘Powering progress: ABB and Nuh Cement’s zero emission dump truck’ during Day 1 of the event. Find out more about The Electric Mine 2024 by going to www.theelectricmine.com