Fortescue partners with Williams Advanced Engineering to develop zero emissions battery electric haul truck

Mar 2, 2021

Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) today announced an agreement with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) to design, build, test and integrate a battery system to power an electric mining haul truck, as an important first step to decarbonising our mining haul fleet.

The project includes the design and construction of a bespoke battery electric powertrain with the ability to regenerate power as the truck travels downhill. The battery will be built at WAE’s facility in the United Kingdom, before being shipped to Perth for integration into a 240-tonne prototype haul truck for performance testing at Fortescue’s mining operations in the Pilbara, Western Australia.

To support the full implementation of a battery-electric haulage fleet, the project will also involve the development of a fast charging unit which will harness renewable energy from Fortescue’s Pilbara Energy Connect network.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said, “Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the planet and Fortescue is committed to tackling this challenge head on through our industry leading target to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2040.

“This includes a 26 per cent reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions from existing operations from 2020 levels by 2030. With around a quarter of these emissions attributed to our mobile haul fleet, this represents a significant opportunity to drive our pathway to being diesel free.

“Fortescue’s history of developing and adopting innovation and technology has been key to the success of our business and in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, we look forward to applying this technology-first strategy to our emissions reduction pathway.”

WAE Managing Director Craig Wilson said, “We are delighted to be working with Fortescue on this pioneering project that will help enable their future decarbonisation strategy, contributing to a reduction of carbon emissions in the heavy-duty mining sector. Both companies have a shared culture for innovation and rapid response and are committed to creating a sustainable future.”

About Fortescue Metals Group
Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) is a global leader in the iron ore industry, recognised for its culture, innovation and industry-leading development of world class infrastructure and mining assets. The Company’s technology and innovation agenda has drive its industry leading operational performance, including its autonomous haulage program which is delivering significant productivity and efficiency benefits.

In 2020, Fortescue announced an ambitious target to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2040, underpinned by a pathway to decarbonisation through the implementation of a range of practical initiatives including:

  • a US$700 million investment in Fortescue’s Pilbara Energy Connect project, a hybrid solar, gas energy solution which will provide the opportunity to readily integrate additional large scale renewable energy
  • A hydrogen mobility project at Christmas Creek comprising the construction of a renewable hydrogen refuelling facility and deployment of fleet of hydrogen fuel cell passenger coach

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About Williams Advanced Engineering
Williams Advanced Engineering Limited is a world-leading technology and engineering business, born out of Williams F1 in 2010.

Based on the Williams technical campus in Grove, Oxfordshire, UK, WAE successfully deliver projects for a global customer base. With over 300 employees, the Company prides itself in solving the most difficult applied engineering challenges for clients across a wide range of sectors, combining cutting edge technology and the industry's best engineers with precision and speed to market.

WAE’s unique knowledge of high performance lightweight batteries has been honed in the highly-competitive and demanding motorsport arena and the company now provides battery systems for the majority of the global electric racing series including Formula E, Extreme E and ETCR.

WAE actively supports sustainability with innovative through transformational technologies and capabilities such as advanced simulation, digital and stress modelling, aerodynamic and thermodynamic optimisation, systems / full vehicle testing, integration, and low volume production.

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