Caterpillar Joins Vale in Decarbonization Testing

May 1, 2024
The two companies will conduct tests and studies on large haul trucks.

Caterpillar and Vale will test battery electric mining trucks and energy transfer systems, as well as conduct studies on ethanol-powered trucks. The aim is to support Vale in achieving its goals of reducing direct and indirect carbon emissions and zeroing its net emissions by 2050, the companies say.

Haul trucks powered by batteries are being developed by Caterpillar. A battery powered truck with capacity of 240 tons will be tested by Vale at its operations in Minas Gerais. Caterpillar is also developing energy transfer solutions for trucks, which will be tested at the mining company's operations in Pará over the next few years.

The two companies will also begin a joint study on a dual fuel solution for haul trucks operating on ethanol and diesel fuel.

Read also: Caterpillar Demonstrates Battery Electric Haul Truck

Diesel emissions from mine operations account for 15% of Vale's direct CO2eq emissions, according to the company. Among mine equipment, the haul truck is the biggest consumer of diesel and therefore the biggest contributor to emissions. For this reason, Vale says investing in initiatives to decarbonize mines and establishing strategic collaborations are fundamental to its goals. 

"We are developing a portfolio of options to decarbonize Vale's operations, including electrification and the use of alternative fuels in the mines. The most viable solutions will be adopted," said Ludmila Nascimento, energy and decarbonization director Vale, in a statement. "We believe that ethanol has great potential to contribute to the 2030 target because it is a fuel that has already been adopted on a large scale in Brazil, with an established supply network, and which requires an active partnership with manufacturers. We stand together to support them in this goal."

"Voice of customer is a critical element of Caterpillar’s product development process, and Vale has been a key voice throughout our long history of collaborating on technology and product deployments," said Denise Johnson, resource Industries group president Caterpillar, in a statement. "We look forward to continuing that collaboration as we launch the next generation of our mining solutions to support our customers’ operational and environmental objectives.”

About the Author

Harlee Hewitt

Harlee is associate editor for Construction Equipment. She has a Bachelor's in English with a focus on technical writing.