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BREAKING: As part of a major Western Australia Government announcement on renewable hydrogen production, use, and the de-carbonisation of vehicle fleets, Hyzon Motors fuel-cell buses will power Fortescue Metals Group's mining industry “carbon-neutral pursuit”, it’s been announced today.

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd’s (ASX:FMG) selection of Hyzon to deploy its hydrogen fuel cell-powered coaches to the Christmas Creek iron ore mine – as part of Fortescue’s commitment to accelerating emissions reduction in its mining operations – will mean hydrogen-powered coaches operating in the Pilbara mining region of Western Australia as a direct replacement of traditional diesel coaches, it states.

Hyzon Motors fuel-cell coaches will start operating in the Pilbara from mid-2021, it reports.

Previous deployments of fuel-cell buses were limited to city cycles, where the average speed is very low, Hyzon explains. Higher powered fuel cells from Hyzon, typically deployed in trucks, will be used to ensure suitable performance from hydrogen coaches, it confirms.

Fortescue has established itself as a leader in the adoption of new and emerging technologies in an effort to achieve the Company’s ambitious goal to achieve net-zero operational emissions by 2040, as highlighted in the Company’s recent ASX announcement (refer FMG ASX announcement dated 16/6/2020), says Hyzon.

Hydrogen is emerging as a crucial component of the future energy landscape, with the heavy transport and equipment sector becoming a key target for the implementation of clean energy alternatives by the mining industry.

“It is an honour to be entrusted with this important step in the decarbonisation journey being undertaken by a leading global mining company, and Hyzon Motors is committed to deploying not only zero-emission vehicles, but also the most reliable vehicles operating in the Pilbara region of Western Australia,” said Craig Knight, co-founder of Hyzon Motors.


Julie Shuttleworth, Fortescue deputy chief executive officer, said: “Fortescue’s history of developing and adopting innovation and technology has been key to achieving our industry-leading cost position and we are applying this technology-first strategy to our hydrogen initiatives to ensure we remain at the forefront of this emerging industry.”

“Fortescue’s mobile fleet represents around 400 to 450 million litres of diesel consumption per year and presents a significant opportunity for hydrogen to be used as a replacement fuel source to accelerate emissions reduction and diversify our energy mix,” Shuttleworth explained.

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Heavy transport was identified as one of the most promising applications for hydrogen in Australia’s ‘National Hydrogen Strategy’, which was commissioned by the COAG Energy Council in November, 2019, and was also highlighted as highly impactful by the Hydrogen for Transport study commissioned by the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to investigate the factors in establishing hydrogen as a ubiquitous fuel in Australia by 2030.

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Hyzon Motors – based in New York, USA, with operations in Australia, Asia and Europe – has recently unveiled Hyzon Motors Europe, with fuel-cell trucks currently being built in the Netherlands for European markets, it states.

While the Australian subsidiary is currently importing fully built trucks and buses, the medium-term goal is to build sufficient demand for fuel-cell commercial vehicles within Australia to justify the local assembly of trucks and buses powered by hydrogen, it says.

The Hydrogen Society of Australia is promoting the concept of a Zero Emission Highway stretching from Perth to Port Hedland in Western Australia, with hydrogen refuelling stations along the way, it states. The Zero Emission Highway targets heavy trucks, which are huge consumers of diesel and massive emitters of carbon dioxide and a major source of harmful emissions, it explains.

Photography: courtesy Hyzon

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