Currently, Epiroc offers a range of battery-electric products which deliver the same – if not better performance than their diesel-powered equivalents while eliminating all emissions. The ambition is to offer a full range of emissions-free products for underground mining by 2025, and for surface operations by 2030.
Epiroc’s most sustainable mining truck yet
For its latest prototype of the battery electric Minetruck MT42, Epiroc has taken its efforts a step further by manufacturing its dump box with SSAB’s fossil-free steel. This means that not only does the vehicle offer zero-emission operations (provided renewable energy is available for charging), but also generates significantly lower emissions when it is produced.
“After product use, our second largest source of emissions is from our supplier side, and around 50 percent of those emissions come from steel and weldments purchased to produce our products,” says Carin. “Our target is to reduce CO2e emissions from our relevant suppliers by 50 percent by 2030. We will not be able to reach this target unless we find a solution for our steel emissions, and that is why we have entered into this partnership with SSAB.”
Fossil-free steel provides a competitive edge
In developing the new prototype, Epiroc worked in close collaboration with SSAB, who manufactured the fossil-free steel using the new HYBRIT technology. The process involves replacing the coke coal traditionally used in iron-ore based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The result is steel that is manufactured with virtually no carbon footprint.
The Minetruck MT42 is the first prototype from Epiroc to use fossil-free steel, but along with battery-electric vehicles, the company sees huge potential for combining the two technologies to create the mining equipment of the future.
“Steel and weldments alone accounts for at least 5-6% of our scope 3 emissions, so if we could make a transition to fossil-free steel, it would take us a long way towards fulfilling our commitments towards the Paris Agreement and reaching our targets,” says Carin. “It would also help our customers and give us a huge competitive edge in the market too.”