Atlas Copco is accelerating the development of electric powered machines, including drilling rigs, as a part of its zero-emission underground mining target. "Our customers’ future is electric," says Andreas Nordbrandt, president of Atlas Copco Underground Rock Excavation Division, based in Örebro, Sweden.
Development will now be focused on zero-emission and battery-driven machinery. The company has immediate plans to expand its current portfolio of electric mining equipment including loaders, drilling rigs and mine trucks.
Atlas Copco will continue to support all customers who rely on diesel-driven equipment, but the decision to completely advance beyond diesel is a definitive move. "It's high time to look forward and leave fossil fuels behind," Nordbrandt says. "We must consider the mining industry's carbon footprint and assume our responsibility as an industry leader.”
Atlas Copco's electric powered loaders, trucks and drill rigs have been extensively tested in the field and the machines currently offered have proven that the technology is ready to take over. “Zero emission machines already offer the same or even better performance as diesel, and this is only the beginning; productivity and profitability will only improve from here,” says Erik Svedlund, global marketing manager, Electrification at Atlas Copco.
"Electric and battery-powered vehicles is the future in underground mining," Nordbrandt says. "Besides the lower running cost of the machines themselves, there are considerable savings to be had in ventilation and cooling. But most importantly, electric machines contribute to a safer and healthier work environment for miners everywhere".
Atlas Copco, based in Stockholm, serves segments ranging from compressors and air treatment systems to construction, mining and drilling equipment. The company, founded in 1873, has more than 39,800 employees worldwide and operates in more than 170 countries. Atlas Copco in North America operates in more than 109 locations and employs more than 4,500 people in the U.S. For more information, visit www.atlascopco.us.