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BHP has launched an open innovation call, giving experts a platform to revolutionise personnel transportation.   

In cooperation with Expande – an initiative co-run by sustainable technology company Fundación Chile – BHP has launched “E-Blueprint”.  

E-Blueprint is a call to action aimed at start-ups, institutes, research centres and the like to pitch ideas for the decarbonisation and electrification of BHP’s personnel transportation.

The initiative is focused on three challenges: integrated fleet management platforms, personnel transport vehicles, and charging/filling stations.  

BHP has a global fleet of buses and light vehicles that numbers in the thousands, so the potential decarbonisation represents an enormous opportunity in the shift towards net-zero mining.   

The finalists of the E-Blueprint will have the opportunity at a demo day, where the winner will be selected and have the opportunity to work with BHP in the next steps.  

Applications close March 13 and can be submitted via the BHP website.  

BHP vice president of procurement Juliet Taylor said the initiative helps the company accelerate its response to carbon challenges. 

“The E-Blueprint aligns with the goals we have set for ourselves in terms of decarbonisation within the supply chain, and our bidding processes regarding electric vehicle fleets, and charging infrastructure studies,” she said.  

The E-Blueprint initiative is the latest in BHP’s efforts to squash carbon emissions.  

The company last month announced its decision to trial a new fuel alternative made from vegetable oil at its Yandi iron ore operations in WA.  

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.