A trial at New Acland mine involving a partial switch from diesel to gas to power trucks has been hailed a major success.
The trial was a partnership involving the mine, Mine Energy Solutions and Hastings Deering.
According to those behind the project, the switch reduces fuel costs by 25 to 30 per cent and greenhouse gases by more than 30 per cent.
New Acland mine general manager David Vink said the project was a great example of industry collaboration.
“We provided the trial site and wherewithal, MES the technology and Hastings Deering the hardware, so to speak (truck and engines),” Mr Vink said.
He said the revolutionary technology enabled the conversion of high horse-powered diesel engines from 100 per cent diesel to dual fuel operation, using natural gas as the dominant fuel through sequential gas injection.
“When MES first looked for project partners in Queensland there was no one interested,” Mr Vink said.
“But we could see the potential for this technology from the outset.
“Now, after nearly 24 months operating on site and clocking more than 6200 hours, we’ve piqued the interest of the big boys and the sceptics.
“We’ve taken the technology from an R&D project to being ready for commercial application.
“Actually (we’ve) gone beyond that (and) it has already been taken up commercially, which has signalled the end of the trial.”
Mr Vink said the trial was originally planned to run for just six months in 2016 but, off the back of data collected as it progressed, the technology itself evolved even further.
“The trial is complete, MES’s technology has been proven and we are pleased to be part of this exciting project that is now going global,” he said.
“This is world-first technology and we are proud to have been the incubator of it in our own back yard.”