AMSJ » Diesel trucks conversions to electric are ‘commercially unavailable’ says employer

Diesel trucks conversions to electric are ‘commercially unavailable’ says employer

Thiess truck
Thiess truck

Transitioning away from fossil fuels is currently not possible within a reasonable timeframe and price range, a major mining company said.

Running Thiess’ entire heavy vehicle fleet on environmentally friendly fuel is still in the pipeline. The employer will spend the rest of 2024 rebuilding 65 trucks to keep operating on diesel.

“Instead of replacing the current [650+] diesel-powered trucks with new ones that are also diesel-powered, with long service lives ahead of them, Thiess will rebuild the current trucks,” the company said in its latest sustainability report.

“The intent is to extend the current trucks’ service life until they can be replaced by alternative low, or zero carbon emissions, trucks when the technology is commercialised.”

Executive chair and CEO Michael Wright confirmed the work will be performed at a rebuild facility on Indonesia’s Batam Island. Meanwhile, a dual-fuel Caterpillar 793F has already been successfully trialled on both diesel and liquefied natural gas (LNG) for eight weeks at an undisclosed Bowen Basin mine site.

“The dual-fuel truck safely demonstrated equivalent performance characteristics to a standard 793F. The substitution of LNG across the trial period resulted in a saving of approximately 19,000 litres of diesel and 51 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions,” the report said.

More 793Fs will be trialled using LNG produced at the same mine site later in 2024.

Meanwhile Thiess has rolled out Polestar 2 and Kia EV6 electric vehicles, as well as a hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander, at MACH Energy’s Mount Pleasant coal mine.

The light vehicles are powered by ABB 22kW electric chargers, one of which can be used by anyone who drives an electric vehicle to the site.

Click here to read the full report.

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