Fortescue Future Industries and its newly acquired, UK-based arm Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) today announced the development of a world first, zero emission Infinity Train.
The regenerating battery electric iron ore train project will use gravitational energy to fully recharge its battery electric systems without any additional charging requirements for the return trip to reload.
According to the company the announcement marks its transition to a global green renewables and resources company, generating huge investment in decarbonisation initiatives in the years ahead.
WAE will remain a strongly independent company to accelerate its growth, while its leading industry battery technology division will be closely coordinated with Fortescue.
Fortescue chairman Dr Andrew Forrest said: “The Infinity Train will not only accelerate Fortescue’s race to reach net zero emissions by 2030, but also lower our operating costs, create maintenance efficiencies and productivity opportunities.
“The Infinity Train will join Fortescue’s green fleet under development and will contribute to Fortescue becoming a major player in the growing global market for green industrial transport equipment, providing great value for our shareholders.
“The commercial opportunities are obvious for FFI as it pioneers this technology, captures its value and distributes it globally.
“Less obvious, is that we have an opportunity to not only lower our operating costs, eliminate the cost of diesel from our company but of course eliminate our rail system carbon emissions.”
Forrest said the world must, and clearly can, move on from its highly polluting, deadly if not stopped epoch of fossil fuel.
Fortescue’s current rail operations include 54 operating locomotives that haul 16 train sets, together with other on-track mobile equipment.
Fortescue’s rail operations consumed 82 million litres of diesel in financial year 2021 accounting for 11 per cent of Fortescue’s Scope 1 emissions.
This diesel consumption and associated emissions will be eliminated once the Infinity Train if fully implemented across Fortescue’s operations.
Fortescue’s studies and development costs for the Infinity Train are expected to be US$50 million over the next two years and will be classified as operating cost efficiencies, with the studies to refine the capital estimate and schedule. T
Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines said: “The acquisition of WAE is an important step in Fortescue’s transition to a global green energy and resources company.
“We are rapidly establishing the building blocks which will allow us to fully integrate technologies, manufacturing capabilities and green energy generation and distribution to deliver across the entire value chain.
“The Infinity Train is an important project to be developed together with WAE, as we work to deliver on our target to decarbonise our mining operations by 2030.”
Picture: Williams Advanced Engineering
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