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Another miner eases out of diesel, opts for hydrogen and fuel cell

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(Kitco News) - Using a A$1 million grant from Western Australia state, Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) said Monday its future bus transportation fleet will be powered using fuel-cell technology.

The Australian iron ore miner is adding 10 full-sized hydrogen coaches, custom built by HYZON Motors, to replace the existing fleet of diesel coaches at Christmas Creek from mid-2021.

The company said the busses will be supported by the installation of a refuelling station, which will harness renewable electricity from the Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project, to generate renewable hydrogen onsite.

Fortescue Deputy Chief Executive Officer Julie Shuttleworth said the effort is step towards the company's net zero operational emissions by 2040.

“As a significant energy consumer, we are actively pursuing opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint and cost base and we expect hydrogen to play a key role. Fortescue’s mobile fleet represents around 400 to 450 million litres of diesel consumption per year and presents a significant opportunity for hydrogen to be used as a replacement fuel source to accelerate emissions reduction and diversify our energy mix,” Shuttleworth said. 

The project has received A$1 million in funding through the Western Australian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Fund.

In October, Anglo American tapped ENGIE, a low-carbon energy service provider, to help it develop the first ever hydrogen-powered mining haul truck.

The 300-tonne haul truck will be converted to run on hydrogen. ENGIE will provide the hydrogen generation technology while Anglo American will develop the truck.

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