ABB and real progress in mine electrification with eMine™ portfolio

ABB has a longstanding history of tackling emissions in hard-to-abate industries. Today, the company continues to demonstrate the power of innovative technologies to address challenges in the mining sector.

In mining, ABB defines ‘Real Progress’ as aiding customers in their energy transition through integrated electrification, automation, and digital solutions, paired with top-tier technologies for hoisting and grinding. The ABB eMine™ portfolio is a prime example, enabling the conversion of fossil fuel-dependent mines to fully electric operations.

The eMine Trolley System, operational in large open-pit mines in Sweden and Canada, retrofits diesel trucks to run on electric trolley lines, achieving a 90% reduction in carbon emissions and doubling the speed compared to diesel trucks. Additionally, the eMine FastCharge high-power electric charging solution is being tested in Canada, designed to endure the harshest mining environments.

AMMEN interviewed ABB’s Mehrzad Ashnagaran and Ratna Kanth Dittakavi to discuss the company’s electrification advancements. Since the eMine™ launch in 2021, interest and adoption of integrated electrification and automation have grown, particularly in regions with access to greener energy forms like Europe and North America. Legislation and policies are increasingly supporting electrification, as seen by ABB’s recent involvement with the European Association of Mining Industries (Euromines).

The eMine™ portfolio has evolved to include solutions for underground mines, developed in partnership with companies like Boliden and Epiroc. ABB has also enhanced the eMine™ FastCharge system, aiming to accommodate the world’s largest trucks through continuous research and development.

Collaboration is key to overcoming electrification challenges. ABB engages with mining companies early in the planning stages to optimize mine design and integrate electrification, automation, and digital solutions effectively. This holistic approach ensures better results than retrofitting technologies after a mine is laid out.

Projects with Antofagasta Minerals and Boliden/Epiroc highlight this shift in mindset, demonstrating that customers worldwide are embracing electrification and adapting technologies to their specific environments.

ABB’s unique offering to the mining sector lies in its 130-year history of innovation and expertise in electrification, combining electrification, automation, and digitalization to achieve high productivity, safety, and sustainability.

At The Electric Mine 2024, ABB and Epiroc will present their underground trolley system for battery-electric haul trucks at Boliden’s Kristineberg mine. Other topics will include decarbonization in South America’s copper sector and diesel-to-electric drivetrain conversion projects, illustrating the mining industry’s readiness for electrification.

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