Australian mining company Fortescue has completed the acquisition of UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) to facilitate hundreds of millions of dollars in decarbonization initiatives in the years ahead. Fortescue wants to use Williams’ battery technology in goods trains and trucks, among other things.
WAE will remain a strongly independent company to accelerate its growth, while its leading battery technology division will be closely coordinated with Fortescue. Both will be managed by Fortescue’s green energy, technology, and development company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI).
To mark the purchase, WAE and Fortescue announced the development of a world-first, zero-emission “Infinity Train” designed to move loads of iron ore without ever needing to be charged. The project will use gravitational energy to fully recharge its battery-electric systems without any additional charging requirements for the return trip to reload. The regenerating battery-electric iron ore train project will not only accelerate Fortescue’s race to reach net-zero emissions by 2030 but also lower its operating costs create to maintenance efficiencies and productivity opportunities.
“The Infinity Train continues FFI’s inexorable march to change the world’s attitude to energy generation. To move business leaders and politicians globally to the realization that fossil fuel is just one source of energy, and there are others rapidly emerging, which are more efficient, lower cost, and green. The world must, and clearly can, move on from its highly polluting, deadly if not stopped epoch,” Fortescue Founder and Chairman Dr. Andrew Forrest AO said.
The technology will address the reduction in emissions in the hard-to-abate industry for this technology to be commercialized on a global basis.
“The Infinity Train has the capacity to be the world’s most efficient battery-electric locomotive. The regeneration of electricity on the downhill loaded sections will remove the need for the installation of renewable energy generation and recharging infrastructure, making it a capital-efficient solution for eliminating diesel and emissions from our rail operations,” said Elizabeth Gaines Fortescue, Chief Executive Officer.