Northern Sweden sees world’s first battery-powered underground mine truck made of fossil-free steel
Said to be breakthrough sustainable innovation for the mining industry’s transition to low-carbon production, the very first battery-powered MT42 truck was presented this week.
LKAB, Europe’s largest iron-ore producer, is ready to put the vehicle into operations hundreds of meters under the surface at its mine inside the Arctic Circle.
Not only is the truck battery-powered with zero carbon emission when driving. The huge dump box to carry the ore is the first made from fossil-free steel made by Nordic steel giant SSAB near Luleå.
The Barents Observer has previously reported about the Swedish corporations’ efforts to be first in the world to produce steel with a minimum carbon footprint.
“Our fossil-free steel immediately reduces the carbon footprint to near zero without compromising the high quality and properties you would expect from SSAB steels. It is the same steel, just without the negative environmental impact,” says Johnny Sjöström, head of SSAB Special Steels.
Each of the dump boxes produced for the underground truck will result in a 10-tonne reduction of CO2 emission, the equivalent of taking five gasoline cars off the road for an entire year.
The battery technology for the Minetruck MT42 has been tested for over a year under extreme conditions in freezing cold mining environments, like the Kittilä gold mine in Finnish Lapland.
Also Volvo has signed a deal with SSAB to use fossil-free steel in the manufacturing of its electric trucks for road traffic.
Volvo started series production of its heavy-duty electric 44-tonne trucks in September, and the first trucks are already delivered to Amazon and the Danish shipping company DFDS.
Fossil-free steel is produced by using hydrogen instead of coal in the ore reduction process, emitting water instead of CO2.