Mining giant BHP is trialling a new fuel alternative at its Yandi iron ore operations in WA, and it’s made from vegetable oil.
The hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) is a low-carbon diesel fuel, colloquially known as green diesel.
It can be used as an alternative to standard diesel with little to no engine modification.
BHP will collaborate with BP to utilise the green fuel in the mining company’s haul trucks and other equipment over an initial three-month trial period.
BHP Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) asset president Brandon Craig said the HVO would help the company lower its greenhouse gas emissions, 40 per cent of which come from burning diesel fuel in its operations.
“Ultimately, our aim is to have fully electric trucking fleets at our sites,” Craig said. “But alternative fuels like HVO may help us reduce our emissions in the meantime while the electrification transition takes place.
“This collaboration with the teams at Yandi and BP is really exciting to see, given the potential application in our WAIO business and BHP’s operations globally.”
BP Australia president Frederic Baudry understands that his company has a key role to play in the world’s energy transition and its broader net-zero plans.
“Forging strategic partnerships with companies like BHP enables BP to create solutions that satisfy the increasing demand for lower carbon fuels in sectors like mining and transport,” he said.
The fuel alternative is BHP’s latest step in a series of socially responsible moves.
The major miner this week announced it has signed a contract with a Pilbara Traditional Owner business for the supply of up to 4000 tyres a year for use across its WAIO operations. According to BHP, this is one of more than 80 Indigenous and Traditional Owner businesses engaged in the first half of 2023.
WAIO has so far injected roughly $120 million into these Indigenous businesses, with a 2023 target of $225 million.