Canadian Mining Journal


ENERGY: Chilean government backs renewable hydrogen project for mining vehicles

CHILE – The country’s economic development agency, CORFO, announced that it will provide approximately US$324,000 to help finance the Hydra project, advanced by low-carbon energy company Engie and research organization Mining3. 

The project aims to design and supply a new powertrain for mining vehicles, which would 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 kW to 200 kW 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 at 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.

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