Anglo American recently announced an agreement with ENGIE to develop and fuel the largest hydrogen-powered haul truck. ENGIE is providing the hydrogen generation solutions and Anglo American is developing the truck. This new project is part of the company’s approach to sustainable mining, FutureSmart Mining, which applies innovative thinking and technological advances to address mining’s major sustainability challenges.

“First motion” of the hydrogen powered truck is expected in 2020, followed by a testing and validation program at Anglo American’s Mogalakwena mine in South Africa, the world’s largest open-pit platinum mine, after which the trucks are expected to be deployed at other Anglo American operations, according to Anglo American. Operational performance of the converted trucks is expected to be the same or better than the original diesel trucks, with the additional benefits of cleaner air, less noise and lower maintenance costs, the company added.

“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with ENGIE and we look forward to developing and implementing this step-change technology,” said Tony O’Neill, technical director of Anglo American. “As part of our Smart Power Project, where we analyzed our mine site power requirements and applied a unique decision process on how we look at renewable energy systems and their benefits, we came up with a mix that allows us to be carbon neutral and have a very different footprint.”

Michele Azalbert, CEO of ENGIE’s hydrogen business, added, “This is part of our plan to create a smart energy mix that moves us closer toward our carbon and energy targets for 2030 and, ultimately, our vision of operating a carbon-neutral mine.”

The agreement was signed by the two companies onboard the Energy Observer during the London stop of its round-the-world voyage. As the world’s first fully electric vessel powered exclusively by hydrogen and renewable energies, the Energy Observer is a fully functioning example of the full decarbonization solution that Anglo American and ENGIE are working toward.