BUSINESS SAVVY: The New Acland hybrid truck is now in action.
BUSINESS SAVVY: The New Acland hybrid truck is now in action.

Acland breaks new ground in mining technology

NEW Hope Group is breaking new ground in mining technology by trialling a diesel and natural gas hybrid truck at its New Acland Mine.

The High Density Compressed Natural Gas truck was developed by Mine Energy Solutions and runs on an advanced duel fuel system.

The revolutionary technology uses sequential gas injection for the conversion of high horsepower diesel engines from 100 per cent diesel to dual fuel operation, using natural gas as the dominant fuel.

New Acland general manager David Vink said the trial was focused on finding a viable alternative fuel to reduce costs and truck emissions at the mine.

"New Acland has a long track record as an industry leader in mining innovation," he said.

"This new hybrid truck trial follows a string of other successful New Acland innovations like the introduction of the Wirtgen Surface Miner for thin seam mining and the use of 4G equipped surveying drones in the controlled airspace above our operation.

"Mine Energy Solutions shares our commitment to innovation so we've really enjoyed working with them to get this new hybrid running."

Mine Energy Solutions Mine integration manager Bernie Ford said the hybrid truck had been on site since August and was fully operational by December.

"So far the hybrid truck has performed to the same engine and truck performance as New Acland's regular diesel-fuelled trucks," he said. "The new duel fuel system overcomes the weight and space limitations of conventional Compressed Natural Gas and the cryogenic complexities of Liquefied Natural Gas.

A natural gas re-fuelling station has been installed at New Acland Mine to support the truck's 18-month trial.