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Fortescue Metals Group has teamed up with multi-national equipment manufacturer Liebherr to develop and supply green mining haul trucks.

They will be used for integration with the zero emission power system technologies being developed by Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE).

This is a major step towards transitioning Fortescue’s diesel mining fleet to a green mining fleet before 2030 and accelerates the opportunity to commercialise zero emission power system technologies in heavy industry applications.

Utilising WAE’s unique proprietary technology and expertise in high-performance battery systems, the partnership secures a pathway for Fortescue to become a zero emission power system supplier to a Tier 1 original equipment manufacturer and accelerates technology commercialisation.

Under the arrangement, Fortescue will purchase a fleet of 120 haul trucks from Liebherr, with delivery aligned to its fleet replacement and sustaining capital expenditure forecast. T

The commitment represents about 45 per cent of the current haul truck fleet at Fortescue’s operations. Truck haulage consumed approximately 200 million litres of diesel in FY21 and accounted for 26 per cent of Fortescue’s Scope 1 emissions.

The phased supply of haul trucks is anticipated to commence following a two-year joint development period enabling the development and integration of Fortescue’s proprietary-owned power system into Liebherr’s proprietary-owned base truck. Liebherr will supply mining haul trucks to Fortescue in both battery electric truck and fuel cell electric truck configurations, in accordance with Fortescue’s requirements.

The first of the zero emission haul units will be fully operational within Fortescue mine sites by 2025, with the further aim of having the units available for commercial sale from that time.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said the company believed that enhancing technology was key to addressing climate change.

“We are investing in renewables and new decarbonisation technologies to transform our mining fleet to run on green renewable energy,” she said.

“This agreement builds on the considerable value already created through Fortescue’s acquisition of WAE and demonstrates the significant long term opportunity for Fortescue to commercialise green power system technologies to the broader heavy duty mobility market.

“We look forward to working with Liebherr and WAE to develop and deploy some of the world’s first zero emission large mining haul trucks in our operations, while also establishing an important new business growth opportunity for Fortescue as we diversify to become an integrated green energy and resources company.”

Liebherr-International Administrative Board president Dr. h. c. Willi Liebherr said the partnership would draw from Liebherr’s industry-leading equipment and technology, as well as Fortescue Future Industries’ expertise in green technologies, to deliver zero emission mining.