Liebherr signed an agreement with BHP to integrate its engines into BHP’s existing R 9600 600-metric ton (mt) excavator fleet at the South Flank mine in Western Australia. Liebherr-Australia Executive General Manager of Customer Service Tony Johnstone and BHP General Manager South Flank Steve Campbell recently met in Perth to mark the signing of a deal to repower the South Flank R 9600 fleet with Liebherr’s D9812 engines, which should reduce maintenance costs with standardized parts capability.

The integration follows intensive factory and field validations on the D98 engine series, which includes a two-year validation study at BHP’s Jimblebar mine where the Liebherr D9812 has successfully powered an R 9400 for almost 20,000 hours.

“BHP has a long-standing relationship with Liebherr across our Western Australian Iron Ore operations, and we have six of their largest machines in operation at South Flank,” Campbell said. “We’re looking forward to continuing with this collaboration, which promises to bring performance and availability improvements to South Flank as we continue to ramp up production.”

Liebherr also attaches great importance to this new step in the partnership and is looking forward to the continued collaboration. “We are pleased to be expanding our partnership with BHP through the integration of our engine technology,” said Dr. Joerg Lukowski, Liebherr Mining executive vice president sales and marketing. “Our longstanding relationship and shared values of innovation make BHP an ideal partner. We look forward to seeing the tangible benefits of the D9812 engines within the R 9600s at South Flank mine, one of the most innovative mines in the world.”

Designed specifically for the mining industry, the D98 series engine offers low fuel consumption and consequent emission reductions. The engine is also compatible for use with sustainably produced Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel, which can significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

The new engines will be supported locally by Liebherr-Australia. The first D9812 repowered R 9600 is scheduled to be operational by early first-quarter 2023, with repowers of the remaining R 9600 fleet to occur over 2023 and 2024.