BHP Group joins Australia's big miners in electric trains purchase to transport iron ore

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Jan 17 (Reuters) - BHP Group on Monday said it would buy four battery electric trains to deliver iron ore from its mines to ports in Western Australia, as miners in the country push to fall in line with their emission goals.

With the announcement, the world's biggest listed miner would join other major miners like Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals, that have made similar purchases in the past weeks as part of the ongoing effort to move to a cleaner future.

The four locomotives, scheduled for delivery in late 2023, will be supplied by U.S.-based Progress Rail, a unit of Caterpillar and rail technology firm Wabtec Corp .

The deal will aid BHP, that aims for net zero emissions by 2050 for its customers, to reduce carbon emissions in delivering iron ore from its Pilbara mines to the Port Hedland export facility.

"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," BHP Asset President Western Australia Iron Ore, Brandon Craig said.

A full transition to battery-electric locomotives would reduce BHP’s WA iron ore diesel-related carbon emissions by nearly 30% annually, the company added. (Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft)