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Holcim, Scania and HYDI to bring hydrogen hybrid prime movers to the Pilbara

Further Scania prime movers will be retrofitted with the innovative hydrogen on demand system following its initial success

A major industry partnership between Holcim Australia, Scania and HYDI will see the decarbonisation of Australia’s remote north-west logistics chain begin with the introduction of hydrogen hybrid prime movers.

The vehicles will operate in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, with Holcim Australia currently using Scania’s R620 V8 Euro 5 145-tonne rated prime movers to transport quarry materials from the Turner River in Newman to Nickol Bay quarries in the Pilbara.

Each road train pulls a payload of up to 100 tonnes in triple configurations from haul distances as little as 10km to up to 600km.

Now, the introduction of HYDI means that its hydrogen on demand HY2500 vertical unit has been retrofitted onto two of Scania’s prime movers to produce hydrogen for controlled delivery to internal combustion engines.

The move helps Holcim reduce its Scope 3 emissions, with the company already seeing its fuel consumption reduce by up to 15 per cent.

“On top of the fuel consumption figures, excitingly, we’re seeing the additional emission reductions of 17 per cent less carbon dioxide (CO2), 80 per cent lower diesel particulate matter (DPM), 22 per cent lower nitrogen oxides (NOX) and 25 per cent lower carbon monoxide (CO),” Holcim WA aggregates logistics manager Adam Evans says.

Scania Australia mining general manager Robert Taylor says the Scania onboard management system confirms the fuel saving figures.

“The reductions in fuel burn and reductions in emissions is entirely in line with our aim at Scania to reduce emissions during the entire working lives of our products,” Taylor says.

Now, Holcim is set to install HYDI systems in two additional prime movers as well as some of its contractor fleet throughout WA.

“We are also exploring options to have HYDI units installed on other equipment including diesel generators and heavy mining equipment,” Evans says.

Image: Scania

The HYDI unit produces hydrogen from distilled water using electrolysis via a proton exchange membrane. The unit draws a low electrical input from the host engine while in operation.

Hydrogen supplements the diesel fuel to create a cleaner and more complete combustion process with the amount of hydrogen produced optimised for the capacity and application of the engine.

Developed in Australia over more than a decade, the HYDI technology delivers improved machinery performance by increasing torque, a reduction in fuel consumption, cleaner burn that reduces engine soot and extends oil and filter service intervals and lower harmful emissions – including DPM, CO2 and CO.

The system provides the capability to transition heavy, diesel-powered machinery into cleaner, more cost-efficient equipment at a fraction of the cost of replacement.

“HYDI’s technology harnesses the benefits of hydrogen in an efficient, affordable and sophisticated way scaled to apply to multiple applications,” HYDI managing director John Wilson says.

Scania has been a committed and enthusiastic partner in the trial and is honouring the original repair and maintenance package provided with the vehicles.

“Scania stepped up to the project, made sure we had all the vehicle and system information needed for a smooth installation of the HYDI units and is eager to help us extend the project even further,” Evans says.

The HYDI hydrogen on demand system can be simply, quickly and relatively inexpensively integrated into the existing diesel technology of Scania vehicles.

“In Australia we have to say that realistically the general availability of reliable, affordable hydrogen as a fuel for heavy haulage is still some way off, particularly regarding use in remote mining operations,” Taylor says.

“As a result, the HYDI hydrogen on demand solution does appear to be providing a real-world and affordable solution for our customers who want or need to make an immediate reduction in fuel burn and their carbon footprint emissions across their transport functions.”

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