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World’s largest hydrogen truck outperforms diesel model

Anglo American hydrogen truck
Anglo American hydrogen truck

A multinational resources company claims its gas-powered heavy vehicle is more powerful than its fossil-fuelled predecessor.

Anglo America’s nuGen hydrogen-battery pack stores up to 800 kilowatts of power, giving the haul truck a total output of 2 megawatts. This is touted to exceed the employer’s diesel-powered predecessor.

The 220 tonne truck is capable of carrying a 290t payload (510t total laden weight) and can be refuelled in Anglo’s hydrogen production, storage, and refuelling complex at Mogalakwena mine, 238km north of Pretoria. The mine site is also claimed to incorporate a solar plant and the largest electrolyser in Africa.

The nuGen zero emission haulage solution aims to help the company achieve its carbon-neutral target by the year 2040. This will be accomplished through harnessing “abundant” solar, wind and other renewable energy sources to create new employment and development opportunities. ENGIE, First Mode, Ballard and NPROXX have already won tenders to work on different packages.

Since the prototype is delivering promising results, Anglo next plans to roll out hydrogen technology across its entire haul truck fleet.

“Over the next several years, we envisage converting or replacing our current fleet of diesel-powered trucks with this zero-emission haulage system, fuelled with green hydrogen,” Anglo chief executive Duncan Wanblad said in a public statement.

“If this pilot is successful, we could remove up to 80 per cent of diesel emissions at our open pit mines by rolling this technology across our global fleet.”

ENGIE hopes other mining companies will also begin converting and replacing their diesel-powered haul trucks.

“We aim to unlock the potential of green hydrogen in South Africa and pave the way for the decarbonisation of the mining industry,” said Sébastien Arbola who is executive vice president of thermal generation, hydrogen and energy supply.

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AMSJ April 2022