Fortescue's Electric Excavator Hits Million-Ton Mark

Fortescue's Electric Excavator Hits Million-Ton Mark

March 26, 2024 :  Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (Fortescue) announced a significant achievement in its decarbonization efforts. The company’s inaugural electric excavator, deployed just three months ago, has surpassed the one-million-tonne mark in material moved.

Initially, the excavator operated at a reduced capacity, allowing the on-site team to become accustomed to this pioneering technology. Now functioning at full capacity, its performance continues to improve, exceeding that of its diesel counterparts in some instances. The team’s primary focus is presently on ensuring consistent performance from the machine.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Dino Otranto expressed his enthusiasm regarding this milestone, highlighting its significance for the company’s decarbonization journey. He emphasized that this achievement was accomplished while upholding rigorous safety standards.

Furthermore, Fortescue anticipates commissioning two additional electric excavators by the end of April. The complete transition of the company’s mining fleet to electric alternatives is projected to eliminate approximately 95 million liters of diesel consumption annually. This shift reduces more than a quarter of a million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

Currently stationed at Fortescue’s Chichester operations, the excavator draws partial power from a 6.6-kilovolt substation and a network of high-voltage trailing cables exceeding two kilometers. Solar power also supplements it. In line with Fortescue’s commitment to eliminating emissions across its mining operations, the company intends to ultimately power all its electric mining equipment entirely with renewable energy sources.

This milestone coincides with the recent success of Fortescue’s 240-tonne battery electric haul truck prototype, “Roadrunner,” which surpassed performance expectations during on-site testing. The successful completion of its first testing phase included navigating the company’s test track and performing ramp tests with hill starts, all while carrying a substantial load of 231 tonnes of iron ore.

The achievements of both the electric excavator and the Roadrunner prototype underscore Fortescue’s commitment to innovation and sustainability within the mining industry. These advancements position the company as a leader in transitioning towards a low-carbon future for the sector.


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