New Acland Mine trials ground breaking technology

13 February 2017

New Hope Group continues to break new ground in mining technology by trialling a diesel and natural gas hybrid truck at its New Acland Mine on the Darling Downs.

The High Density Compressed Natural Gas truck was developed by Mine Energy Solutions and runs on an advanced dual 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," David 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 technology up and running at New Acland."

Mine Energy Solutions Mine Integration Manager Bernie Ford said the hybrid truck had been onsite at New Acland since early August and fully operational since December.

"So far the hybrid truck has performed to the same engine and truck performance as New Acland’s regular diesel-fuelled trucks," Bernie 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.

"In addition to significant cost savings, we’re confident the hybrid truck will also reduce vibration and noise levels compared to standard mining industry trucks."

Bernie said a key component of the trial had been seamlessly transitioning the hybrid truck into New Acland’s regular work roster.

"The new hybrid technology has been developed to support a full work shift of up to 12 hours," he said.

"This means the hybrid truck can operate to the same rosters as New Acland’s regular equipment therefore minimising any impact the trial could have on the mine’s productivity."

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