Antofagasta Region, Minera Centinela, Antofagasta Minerals.


The Hydra project aims to replace the conventional diesel engine with a modular plug-in system made up of hydrogen fuel cells and batteries.

About the project

Hydra aims to use a hydrogen fuel cell-based powertrain for heavy machinery in mining. This will allow the replacement of diesel to achieve the decarbonization goals of the mining industry.

To achieve this goal, various workflows will be carried out, including a pre-feasibility and engineering study of a propulsion system, and the renewable hydrogen value chain. This includes the design, manufacture of a prototype composed by a 60 kW fuel cell and 140 kWh battery which will be tested under mining conditions (altitude, dust, temperature, etc.).

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The project is divided into 4 phases

Phase 1
Validate Business Case
During 2018-2019, a conceptual study to evaluate the business case for a H2 mining truck solution, was successfully completed.
Phase 2
Co-create the Solution

Along 2021-2022, the project will carry out the pre-feasibility study and engineering for the H2 mining truck solution, including the H2 supply chain.

In addition, a prototype will be built to evaluate the performance of the FC + Battery powertrain under specific mining conditions.

Both activities will allow us to validate the business case in further detail.

Phase 3
Proof of Concept

By 2023, we expect to be demonstrating the H2 mining truck solution at the scale of 1 truck, by swapping the 2MW diesel engine of a mining truck with a fully electric fuel cell + battery powertrain.

The renewable hydrogen will be produced through an electrolysis plant powered by renewable energy.

Phase 4

By 2025, we expect to scale up the H2 mining truck solution,
changing an entire fleet of trucks at a specific mining site.

This will allow the mining company to reach its decarbonization targets, while it would also trigger the development of renewable hydrogen in Chile, a first crucial step towards becoming a potential renewable H2 exporter.


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