BHP Group Orders Wabtec’s FLXdrive Battery Locomotives

Wabtec Corporation (NYSE: WAB) announced an order from BHP Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) for two FLXdrive battery locomotives. The deal builds momentum in the market for the world’s first 100-percent, battery-powered locomotive and supports the Australia-based natural resource company’s plan to decarbonize its rail network.

“The FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive represents the future of sustainable rail operations,” said Rogerio Mendonca, President of Freight Equipment for Wabtec. “The rail and mining industries are on the cusp of technological advancements to equip customers with zero-emission locomotive fleets. The FLXdrive is a major step toward eventually achieving that vision. It will provide BHP with the tractive effort, fuel savings, emissions reductions and reliability to cost effectively run their rail operations.”

BHP will receive the newest version of the FLXdrive battery-electric locomotives in 2023 with an energy capacity of 7 megawatt hours (MWh). Based on the topography of the route and BHP’s rail operations, the FLXdrive is anticipated to reduce the company’s fuel costs and emissions in percentage by double digits per train.

“WA Iron Ore is significant within BHP’s global operations, and I am pleased we can play a leading role in helping to develop new and innovative solutions with potential to shape our business for a cleaner future,” said Brandon Craig, BHP Asset President Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO). “Rail is the fundamental link in our pit-to-port value chain, and the power required to deliver fully-laden iron ore wagons from the Pilbara to Port Hedland is significant. Trialing battery-electric locomotives in collaboration with Wabtec has great potential to support our operational emissions reductions targets and goals.”

BHP currently uses four diesel-electric locomotives in a consist to pull trains comprised of approximately 270 cars carrying 38,000 tons of iron ore. The FLXdrives will join the diesel locomotives to form a hybrid consist, and recharge during the trip through regenerative braking. Wabtec’s next generation energy-management system will determine the optimal times to discharge and recharge the batteries along the route ensuring the most fuel-efficient operation of the entire locomotive consist during the trip.

“This order speaks to BHP’s proactive approach to sustainability and cost-effective operations,” said Wendy McMillan, Senior Regional Vice President, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand for Wabtec. “BHP is among the industry leaders in this region who are demonstrating their commitment to addressing climate change by investing in transformative technologies like the FLXdrive battery locomotive.”

The FLXdrive battery locomotive is part of Wabtec’s initiative to develop the next generation of zero-emission locomotives. The company has a clear path to power new locomotives – and repower existing locomotives – with batteries, hydrogen internal combustion engines, and hydrogen fuel cells. It is part of Wabtec’s vision for the rail industry to play a key role in building a clean energy economy and will enable the reduction of up to 300 million tons of global carbon emissions per year.

About Wabtec

Wabtec Corporation is focused on creating transportation solutions that move and improve the world. The company is a leading global provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions and value-added services for the freight and transit rail industries, as well as the mining, marine and industrial markets. Wabtec has been a leader in the rail industry for over 150 years and has a vision to achieve a zero-emission rail system in the U.S. and worldwide. The company has approximately 27,000 employees located at facilities in 50 countries throughout the world. Visit Wabtec’s website at:

About BHP

BHP is a leading global resources company. We extract and process minerals, oil and gas, with approximately 80,000 employees and contractors, primarily in Australia and the Americas. Our products are sold worldwide, with sales and marketing led through Singapore and Houston, United States. Our global headquarters are in Melbourne, Australia.


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