Chile backs renewable hydrogen project for mining vehicles

(Image courtesy of Mining3).

Chile’s economic development agency CORFO announced that it will provide approximately $324,000 to help finance low-carbon energy company Engie and research organization Mining3’s Hydra project.

The project aims to design and supply a new powertrain for mining vehicles to run on renewable hydrogen instead of diesel. Its initial phase will be to run a pre-feasibility and engineering study. Then, the plan is to design and manufacture a 100-200kW fuel cell and battery powertrain prototype to test its performance under mining conditions in terms of altitude, dust, and temperature. 

“In addition, the project will help establish safety protocols for hydrogen use at scale in the mining industry,” Engie and Mining3 said in a media statement. “These protocols for the industry are critical to the successful deployment of hydrogen in the mining industry.” 

According to the organizations involved in the initiative, the end goal of the Hydra project is to scale up the solution to convert mining vehicles of several mining sites in Chile and elsewhere.

Data from Chile’s Ministry of Energy states that renewable hydrogen could help mitigate between 17% and 27% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.