Mining giant the BHP Group plans to electrify its entire haul truck fleet at the Escondida copper mine in the Antofagasta region of Chile. The facility’s current fleet of over 160 haul trucks will be replaced with Caterpillar electric trucks over the next 10 years. The first trucks are expected to arrive in the second half of 2023.
Caterpillar says its new 798 AC electric drive trucks will deliver significant improvements in material-moving capacity, efficiency, reliability and safety. BHP says the new e-trucks include technology that enables autonomous operation, which will help it to accelerate the implementation of its autonomy plans.
Caterpillar dealer Finning International will deliver the trucks and provide technical support for the fleet.
“This agreement will allow us to generate significant efficiencies at the operational level, but it is also in line with some of the main challenges that drive us as a company: innovation for the future of mining, decarbonization, and development of capabilities in Antofagasta´s community,” said James Whittaker, President of Escondida | BHP.
“This is the largest fleet deal in Finning’s history, and will significantly expand the Caterpillar truck population and support the transition towards cleaner energy,” said Finning CEO Scott Thomson.