Mining major Hindustan Zinc Ltd will invest around $1 billion (about Rs 7,440 crore) in eight mines over the next five years to replace diesel-powered vehicles and equipment with battery electric vehicles. This information has been given by the company's CEO Arun Mishra on Friday.
The company has signed an agreement with Finnish technology firm Format Group Oy to offer front-line battery-powered service equipment in underground mining that will, during the first phase, include three Normat Smartdrive EVs – a 'Spremac', in their underground mines. Will deploy one 'Agitator' and one 'Charmack'.
Mishra told PTI that, "We have a time-frame of next five years to replace all our existing equipment. Then they will be replaced with battery-operated equipment so that in five to six years our mines will have diesel-powered equipment. We have hundreds of diesel-powered devices," Mishra told PTI.
Asked how much the company would invest in the exercise, he said "it could go up to $200 to 250 million (USD) per year" and "about one billion (USD)" for a time frame of five years.
Earlier this year, HZL signed a memorandum of understanding with Epirock Rock Drills AB to introduce another fleet of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) to its underground mines for production equipment, Mishra said Normet. Partnership with is for accessories.
"So, together, the two will complete a mining operation section of a mine. We have eight mines (in India). This is just the beginning," he said.
HZL said Normate SmartDrive EV will help in saving a huge amount of money spent on high-speed diesel (HSD) and their maintenance. By replacing HSD vehicles with Normate SmartDrive battery-operated vehicles, approximately 3 lakh liters of HSD per vehicle can be saved.