Compañía Minera del Pacífico (CMP) together with ENGIE Chile signed an alliance that represents a great step in the decarbonization of mining: Chile’s first extraction truck pilot powered by natural gas. The project contemplates the modification of two 220-ton mining extraction vehicles (CAEX), in a period of six months, from the diesel system to a dual fuel system, which will mostly be operated with natural gas.
With this technological innovation, the trucks will reduce CO2 emissions by between 20 and 25% and particulate matter emissions by more than 30%, maintaining their current performance, and it will also mean economic savings for the mining operation. In fact, there is international experience in this matter – mines in Mexico, Turkey, Russia, Australia, USA, Canada, among others – that show the same results.
“This pilot is key in the process of changing to cleaner energies. In the hydrogen route that will not yet be available, what we will incorporate is LNG. And while we reduce impact, we learn to operate with gaseous fuels. We believe that we are on the right path, taking concrete steps towards decarbonization,” said Claudia Monreal, Deputy Manager of Development at CMP.
To arrive at the pilot, the companies worked for a year researching the different motor conversion solutions. Finally, a laboratory test was carried out on a CAEX engine that allowed to validate the expected results in terms of performance, which marked the initial kick to be able to offer this type of solution to mining.
“This project marks a milestone for mining in Chile and is a concrete action that demonstrates the commitment of both ENGIE Chile and CMP to decarbonization. In addition, it is in line with our purpose of acting to accelerate a carbon neutral economy with mature technological solutions available today, economically competitive, and that leverage the fulfillment of the goals proposed by Chile regarding climate change in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to 2030,” explained Andrés Peragallo, Gas Product Manager of ENGIE Chile.
The pilot project, which will be carried out at CMP’s Los Colorados Mine located in the Atacama region, is in a first stage of development and implementation. This includes the importation of the necessary equipment, the conversion of the trucks to dual fuel, the implementation of the LNG refueling station on site and, finally, the formalization of this initiative before the Superintendence of Electricity and Fuels (SEC).
With an eye on the expected results, this technological innovation could not only be applied to the entire fleet of CMP mining extraction trucks and other support equipment, but also to medium and large mining in Chile.
Source: Engie Chile