Today in South Africa, our team achieved an incredible milestone in partnership with Anglo American as the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell and battery haul truck was officially unveiled with a working demonstration at the Mogalakwena mine site.

Dignitaries including President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa and representatives of media outlets and partner organizations gathered at Mogalakwena and tuned in from around the world via livestream to witness the historic first movement of nuGen™️, the world’s first zero-emission haul truck converted from diesel to run entirely on hydrogen fuel cells and battery power. In place of fossil fuel, the truck will now consume green hydrogen produced on site at Mogalakwena using solar energy and the largest electrolyzer in Africa.

International Mining’s Paul Moore was among the reporters on site to cover the historic moment. Article excerpt:

In the presence of South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, Anglo American has launched its nuGen™ hydrogen-battery hybrid 290 t class mining truck at the Mogalakwena open pit platinum mine in Limpopo Province. It was run with 150 t of payload for the launch, only due to there not being a matching shovel in the trial area, but Anglo said that the prototype is already fully capable of its full 290 t payload. The launch saw it drive up a 7% slope – representative of typical mine haul road grade at Mogalakwena – and then dump the 150 t load, with a main driver and co-driver on board the truck.

Ramaphosa summed up the occasion as follows: “It’s a real joy and pleasure to be here in this place for the launch of the nuGen™ truck…it is a smart step for Anglo American but a giant leap for South Africa’s hydrogen economy as we move into the future. The hydrogen economy is beckoning us as a country and as an industry. It has definitely arrived for South Africa – thank you very much to Anglo American. We are making world history right here in Mogalakwena, in Limpopo and in South Africa.” He also emphasised the importance of the truck in South Africa’s journey to net zero as a signatory of the Paris Agreement. But he added that it also relects an sustainability obligation to the South African people to reduce emissions and work towards achieving carbon neutrality. “It is the genesis of our entire hydrogen economy.” …

It was emphasised by [Julian Soles, Head of Technology Development, Mining & Sustainability at Anglo American], who introduced the truck to the to the South African President and his team at the event, that the hydraulic system was unchanged, but one advantage of electric power, including control of braking, is that the delivered power to the truck systems is much more precise and efficient than diesel power without the engine revving that it requires. While it will take some time for the technology to achieve economic parity with diesel – some of the more obvious savings include vastly less lubricant use without a diesel engine and there being no need for a complex radiator system to prevent overheating. Of course, the nuGen truck also allows for the downhill recharge of the batteries to not waste potential regenerative energy that would normally be dissipated as heat on a diesel truck. Only water is emitted from the truck during operation. This one 930E truck unconverted uses 3,000 L/d of diesel – extrapolating this up to the carbon saving from Mogalakwena’s fleet alone, let alone Anglo’s wider mining truck population – the potential is massive.

For the nuGen™ project, Anglo American has worked with some of the world’s leading creative engineering and technology companies, such as ENGIE, First Mode, Ballard and NPROXX.

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