Australian iron ore company Fortescue Metals has teamed up with multinational equipment manufacturer Liebherr for the development of green mining haul trucks.

The trucks will be integrated with the zero-emission power system technologies developed by Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE).

Under the agreement, Fortescue will purchase a fleet of 120 haul trucks from Liebherr, as per its fleet replacement and sustaining capital expenditure estimate.

Fortescue said that the purchase volume represents around 45% of its current haul truck fleet.

Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines said: “The signing of this contract with Liebherr marks a significant step in the delivery of our industry-leading decarbonisation target to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

“We strongly believe that enhancing technology is key to addressing climate change and we are investing in renewables and new decarbonisation technologies to transform our mining fleet to run on green renewable energy.”

Liebherr is expected to start the phased supply of haul trucks after a two-year joint development period to develop and integrate Fortescue’s power system into Liebherr’s base truck.

The manufacturer is expected to supply mining haul trucks in both battery electric truck and fuel cell electric truck configurations, as per Fortescue’s requirements.

The initial zero-emission haul units are expected to be fully operational within Fortescue mine sites by 2025, with plans to further commercialise the units from then.

Fortescue said that the partnership will help transition its diesel mining fleet to a green mining fleet by 2030 and advance the commercialisation of its zero-emission power system technologies.

Gaines added: “This agreement builds on the considerable value already created through Fortescue’s acquisition of WAE and demonstrates the significant long-term opportunity for Fortescue to commercialise green power system technologies to the broader heavy duty mobility market.”

“We look forward to working with Liebherr and WAE to develop and deploy some of the world’s first zero-emission large mining haul trucks in our operations, while also establishing an important new business growth opportunity for Fortescue as we diversify to become an integrated green energy and resources company.”