Aurizon and Anglo American explore hydrogen-powered freight trains

Rail freight already produces up to 16 times less CO2/t than the road.

Aurizon (Australia’s largest rail freight operator) and Anglo American (a leading global mining company) will conduct a feasibility study to assess the introduction of hydrogen-powered trains for bulk freight.

Both parties will explore the application of Anglo American’s proprietary hydrogen fuel cell and battery hybrid power units in heavy haul freight rail operations. If the feasibility study is successful, the agreement between the two companies could be extended to further phases of collaboration, including detailed engineering and the development of a hydrogen-fuelled heavy haul locomotive prototype.

The feasibility study will focus on the potential deployment of Anglo American’s hydrogen power technology on 180 km Aurizon’s Moura rail corridor that operates between Anglo American’s Dawson metallurgical coal mine and the Gladstone Port, and the 997 km Mount Isa rail corridor that operates between the North West Minerals Province to Townsville Port, via Aurizon’s Stuart Terminal.

Anglo American also aims to displace the majority of diesel at its mining operations, with an advanced trial of the hydrogen prototype truck at its Mogalakwena platinum group metals mine in South Africa: Anglo American Hydrogen power.

Andrew Harding, MD of Aurizon, said, “Hydrogen offers enormous opportunity in decarbonising and continuing to improve the competitiveness of Australia’s export supply chains.”

Tyler Mitchelson, CEO of Anglo American in Australia, added, “Anglo American has committed to carbon-neutral operations by 2040, and we are aiming to reduce our Scope 3 emissions by 50% in the same timeframe.”

Tony O’Neill, Technical Director of Anglo American, commented, “Our agreement with Aurizon marks the first time our hydrogen power technology could be tested beyond our existing mine haul truck programme.”

Shahkar Ali

Shahkar is the regional representative for Asia covering the hydrogen industry for H2 Bulletin. Please click on the email icon to contact him directly via email or follow him on social media.
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