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BHP Billiton joins the electric train party

Kitco News

The world's largest diversified miner, BHP, said today it will purchase four battery-electric locomotives and conduct trials at its Western Australia Iron Ore rail network, as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to reduce its operational emissions.

The four locomotives are scheduled for delivery in late 2023. Two will be supplied by BHP’s current provider Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, and two from Wabtec.

BHP will test the battery-electric locomotives’ performance and emissions reduction capabilities in delivering iron ore from its Pilbara mines to the Port Hedland export facility, said the company in a statement. Conducting the trials in collaboration with two leading providers will support BHP’s planned electrification of its iron ore fleet of more than 180 locomotives.

Earlier this month Fortescue announced it ordered two electric locomotives to service its Brazil operations. Rio Tinto also announced this month that it would buy four battery electric trains to transport iron ore.

In 2020 BHP pledged net-zero emissions by 2050.

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