Leading gas and engineering company BOC, a subsidiary of Linde plc, today announced a project to provide hydrogen production and refuelling infrastructure for the first fleet of hydrogen coaches at the Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) Christmas Creek mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The AU$32 million renewable hydrogen supply project will enable Fortescue’s 10 coaches to be fuelled with renewable hydrogen and will transport workers from their base camp to the mine site. This is the first mine in Australia to deploy hydrogen for transport and transition from diesel engines.
BOC will supply ITM electrolysers to produce renewable hydrogen through electrolysis. The electrolysers will have capacity to produce up to 180 kilograms of renewable hydrogen per day to power 10 hydrogen fuel cell coaches that carry 3,000 workers to and from the mine site every day.
A state-of-the-art Linde hydrogen refuelling station will also be supplied by BOC at a site in the Pilbara. Linde is at the forefront in the transition to clean hydrogen and has installed over 190 hydrogen fuelling stations and 80 hydrogen electrolysis plants worldwide.
John Evans, Managing Director, BOC South Pacific said the project will demonstrate BOC’s expertise in customised hydrogen solutions to suit the most challenging environments.
“BOC is proud to be the chosen partner in this exciting project that will demonstrate how renewable hydrogen can be used as a fuel for heavy vehicles in remote environments.
“Mining is a 24/7 operation which, together with the remoteness of the site means that reliability is essential. BOC provided a solution that recognised the criticality of the application and we collaborated with Fortescue to design an application to protect the electrolyser and refueller from the environment in the Pilbara region.
“The renewable hydrogen we will produce will help to reduce reliance on diesel for remotely located industries and therefore, add environmental value to our industrial customers.
“We look forward to working with Fortescue and our other partners to expand the use of hydrogen in heavy transport and remote applications – which are key priorities outlined in the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy,” concluded Mr Evans.
The project is expected to be completed by early 2022.