The green industrial arm of Andrew Forrest’s Fortsecue Metals Group has taken delivery of a massive electric vehicle battery that will be used in to power a 240-tonne, zero-emissions mining truck for FMG’s iron ore operations.
Fortscue Future Industries says the state-of-the-art 1.4MWh prototype battery system is a bespoke design for the huge electric haulage trucks FFI is developing with Swiss machine manufacturer, Liebherr.
The massive battery system was put together by a team of 50 engineers and technicians from WAE Technologies, a fully-owned subsidiary of FMG that was previously known as Williams Advanced Engineering.
The 1.4MWh battery weighs 15 tonnes, measures 3.6m long, 1.6m wide and 2.4m high, and is made up of eight sub-packs, each with 36 modules, all individually cooled and each with its own management system.
FFI says the battery’s delivery on Friday marks “a massive achievement” and several firsts for an electric mining haul truck battery, including the ability to fast-charge in 30 minutes and capacity to regenerate power as it drives downhill.
Having arrived at Fortescue’s workshop in Perth, it will be assembled and installed, before being transported to the Pilbara for testing on site over the course of the year.
“WAE and Fortescue are working together to seek to decarbonise faster and more effectively than any other major industrial company in the world,” said FFI CEO Mark Hutchinson in a statement on Friday.
“WAE’s battery expertise complements FFI’s green hydrogen projects and cements Fortescue as a leader in the technologies needed for the green energy transition.”
WAE Technologies CEO Craig Wilson says the high-performance battery system boasts the highest energy storage of its kind, as well as fast recharging times.
“This system is the first of many technologies that can help enable Fortescue to realise its industry leading 2030 net-zero target,” Wilson said.
“Powered solely by renewable energy, it will help prevent enormous amounts of fossil fuel from being used in the mining industry, with the goal to not compromise the vehicle’s load capacity.
“This is an inspiring example of what can be achieved combining Fortescue’s pioneering green energy vision for its global vehicles and WAE’s extensive expertise in advanced batteries.”
The good green news for Fortsecue comes in what has been a tough week for Forrest, after Sun Cable – a company in which the iron-ore magnate holds a 15% share – went into voluntary administration.
Sun Cable’s statement on the news, and subsequent statements from both Cannon-Brookes and Forrest, indicates irreconcilable differences between the two billionaire stakeholders over the way forward for the company’s ambitious flagship project.
The Australia-AsiaPowerLink proposes to build up to 20GW of solar near Elliott in the heart of the Northern Territory, and 42GWh of battery storage, providing clean energy for green industry in Darwin and to Singapore through a 4,200km sub-sea cable.