Distributed Energy Resources, GHG Emissions - January 11, 2022
Rio Tinto Adds Battery Electric Trains to Reduce Emissions
Rio Tinto will purchase four battery-electric trains for use in the Pilbara region of Western Australia as part of the company’s strategy to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.
Rio Tinto purchased the four 7MWh FLXdrive battery-electric locomotives from Wabtec Corporation with production due to commence in the United States in 2023 ahead of initial trials in the Pilbara in early 2024.
The locomotives, used to carry ore from the company’s mines to its ports, will be recharged at purpose-built charging stations at the port or mine. They will also be capable of generating additional energy while in transit through a regenerative braking system which takes energy from the train and uses it to recharge the onboard batteries.
A full transition to net zero emissions technology of its entire fleet of rail locomotives would reduce Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s diesel-related carbon emissions in the Pilbara by around 30% annually.
Delivery of the prototype locomotives will be an important early step for the company on the path toward a decarbonized Pilbara, said Rio Tinto Managing Director of Port, Rail and Core Services Richard Cohen.
“Our partnership with Wabtec is an investment in innovation and an acknowledgment of the need to increase the pace of our decarbonisation efforts,” he said in a statement. “Battery-electric locomotives offer significant potential for emissions reduction in the near term as we seek to reduce our Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions in the Pilbara by 50% by 2030.”