BHP Western Australia orders 2 Battery Locomotives for Iron Ore biz

Jan. 19, 2022
The locomotives will have an energy capacity of 7 MWh. The new locomotives are expected to reduce the firm’s fuel costs and emissions in double-digit percentages per train

BHP Western Australia Iron Ore has placed an order for two FLXdrive battery locomotives from Wabtec Corp.

The locomotives will have an energy capacity of 7 MWh. The new locomotives are expected to reduce the firm’s fuel costs and emissions in double-digit percentages per train.

“The FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive represents the future of sustainable rail operations,” said Rogerio Mendonca, President of Freight Equipment for Wabtec. “The rail and mining industries are on the cusp of technological advancements to equip customers with zero-emission locomotive fleets. The FLXdrive is a major step toward eventually achieving that vision. It will provide BHP with the tractive effort, fuel savings, emissions reductions and reliability to cost effectively run their rail operations.”

The firm will receive the delivery of the newest version of the locomotives in 2023.

At present, BHP uses four diesel-electric locomotives in a consist to pull trains of 270 cars and carrying 38,000 tons of iron ore. Adding the FLXdrives to the diesel locomotives will form a hybrid consist, which can be recharged during the trip through regenerative braking.

It will be equipped with Wabtec’s energy-management system. This system will determine the optimal time to discharge and recharge the battery to ensure the most fuel-efficient operation of the locomotive during the trip.