Anglo American puts world’s largest hydrogen truck to work

The hydrogen-powered truck at the Anglo American Platinum’s Mogalakwena mine in South Africa.(Image courtesy of Anglo American.)

Anglo American (LON: AAL) unveiled on Friday its first self-developed green-hydrogen powered truck at the Mogalakwena platinum mine South Africa, where it will eventually replace a fleet of 40 vehicles consuming each nearly a million liters of diesel a year. 

The 2,000-kilowat hydrogen-battery hybrid haul truck, which is currently the world’s largest hydrogen-powered vehicle of its kind in operation, can carry a 290-tonne payload.

The trucks, part of the company’s nuGen zero emissions haulage initiative, use power from a 140-megawatt solar plant that powers the hydrogen-producing mechanism.

The project, expected to be fully implemented by 2026, is a first step in making eight of Anglo American’s mines carbon neutral by 2030, the company said.

About 80% of the company’s diesel consumption is on its haul trucks, which accounts for between 10% and 15% of its total Scope 1 emissions, those generated directly from its own activities.

Anglo American puts world’s largest hydrogen truck to work
Zero emission vehicles hydrogen production, storage, and refuelling complex at Mogalakwena. (Image courtesy of Anglo American | Flickr.)

This makes the planned fleet overhaul an important step in the group’s pathway to carbon-neutral operations by 2040, chief executive Duncan Wanblad said in the statement.

“The impact of our nuGen project goes far beyond our operations,” Wanblad said. “We believe that the emerging hydrogen sector has the potential to dramatically improve the growth and development of many economies by creating new industrial value chains and economic generation opportunities.”

The nuGen trucks are equipped with fuel cells that include platinum in their components and have a specialized filtration system to limit dust and sulphur reaching the fuel cells.