BHP’s South Flank operates six R 9600 excavators, above, which will be upgraded with D9812 engines. (Photo: Liebherr)

Liebherr signed an agreement with BHP to integrate its D9812 engines into BHP’s existing R 9600 600-mt excavator fleet at the South Flank mine in Western Australia.

The new engines will be supported locally by Liebherr-Australia. The first D9812-repowered R 9600 is scheduled to be operational by early Q1 2023, with repowers of the remaining R 9600 fleet to occur over 2023 and 2024.

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

The miner and OEM have a longstanding relationship, and six R 9600 excavators operate at South Flank, the mine 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,” said Steve Campbell, general manager, South Flank.

The D98 series engine offers low fuel consumption. The engine is compatible for use with sustainably produced hydrotreated vegetable oil fuel, which can reduce CO2 emissions.