Hindustan Zinc Ltd To Invest $1Bn In 5 Years To Shift From Diesel-Run Vehicles To EVs

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The company has signed an agreement with Finnish technology firm Normet Group Oy to introduce front line battery-powered service equipment in underground mining 

In a bid to shift to greener mobility means, Hindustan Zinc Ltd is looking to invest about USD 1 billion (around Rs 7,440 crore) to switch its diesel-run vehicles and equipment with battery electric vehicles across its eight mines in the next five years. 

The company has signed an agreement with Finnish technology firm Normet Group Oy to introduce front line battery-powered service equipment in underground mining and will deploy three of Normet SmartDrive EVs in their underground mines in the first phase, as per PTI.

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Company CEO Arun Misra told PTI, “We have a timeline of next five years of replacing all our current equipment as and when the replacements are due. Then they will be replaced by battery-operated equipment, so that in five to six years time our mines will be free from diesel-operated equipment. We have hundreds of them, not even ten or twenty.”

When asked how much investments will the company put in the exercise, he said “it can go up to say (USD) 200 to 250 million per year” and for the five year time frame “close to about a billion (USD)”.

Earlier this year, HZL had signed an MoU with Epiroc Rock Drills AB to introduce another fleet of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in their underground mines for production equipment, Misra said adding the partnership with Normet is for support equipment.

Mishra added, “We have a timeline of next five years of replacing all our current equipment as and when the replacements are due. Then they will be replaced by battery operated equipment, so that in five to six years time our mines will be free from diesel operated equipment.”

HZL said the Normet SmartDrive EV will significantly help it in saving a huge amount in high speed diesel (HSD) and its maintenance. By substituting the HSD vehicles with Normet SmartDrive battery-operated vehicles, around 3 lakh litres of HSD can be saved per vehicle.

Misra said HZL’s move towards EVs for underground mining operations has largely been driven by its commitment to sustainable business and the ‘Race to Net Zero’.

“Our partnership with Normet reinforces our commitment to sustainable operations for a greener tomorrow by helping us achieve our Sustainability Development Goal of reducing carbon emissions. We believe the introduction of Battery Electric Vehicle in underground mining will be a game-changer for the industry and a big leap by India towards responsible mining,” he said in a statement.

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