Mining giant Anglo American Mining inaugurated the world’s largest hydrogen-powered transport truck on Friday at one of its South African platinum mines, in the presence of President Cyril Ramaphosa who hailed it as a “giant step” in the country’s energy transition.
The group, which operates in some 15 countries and has 25 sites in South Africa, plans, if the trial is successful, to replace its entire fleet of diesel trucks with these new prototypes powered by a 2-megawatt hydrogen battery, which can carry up to 290 tons of ore.
“What we are launching is not just an impressive piece of machinery, it is the genesis of a whole hydrogen-powered ecosystem,” President Ramaphosa enthused at the official launch ceremony of the gigantic vehicle, almost the size of a small house, presented at the Mogalakwena mine (north), located about 250 km from Johannesburg.
“This is a giant step forward for South Africa’s future hydrogen economy,” he said in a speech broadcast by local television stations. “This is truly a historic moment” that “clearly gives us a vision of what the future can look like,” he added.
Anglo American’s ambition is to be carbon-neutral (a balance between man-made greenhouse gas emissions and their removal from the atmosphere) by 2040, notably through this hydrogen technology, obtained by electrolysis of water powered by solar energy.