Hindustan Zinc deploys heavy-duty EV for underground mining operations

Hindustan Zinc deploys Normet's SmartDrive EV heavy-duty EV for its underground mining operations. The Vedanta Group company plans to invest over Rs 8,200 crore to convert its 900 diesel-powered mining vehicles into BEVs.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 31 Jan 2023 Views icon4840 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

In a first-of-its-kind initiative in the Indian mining sector, Hindustan Zinc has introduced a Normet Agitator SmartDrive EV into its underground mining operations.

Hindustan Zinc, along with Finnish technology company Normet Group, has inducted battery-powered service equipment and utility vehicles into underground mining to help decarbonise and improve environmental sustainability in the mining industry.

The company will soon expand its battery-operated EV fleet with Normet’s Explosive Charger (Charmec MC 605 V SD) and Concrete Sprayer (Spraymec MF 050 VC SD). Hindustan Zinc is the first company among its peers to join the EV revolution, steadily switching to electric vehicles for its underground operations. The company has set a target of converting all diesel-run 900-odd mining vehicles into battery operated ones over the next five years and has earmarked an investment of over US$ 1 billion (Rs 8,247 crore) for the same.

Each of the Normet SmartDrive EVs are based on a modular Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) architecture that is designed to optimise energy consumption and performance in underground mining, including tunnelling applications. The SmartDrive EVs enable higher productivity, lower operating costs, and, most importantly, zero emissions. The BEVs have been inducted at the company’s Sindesar Khurd mine, a silver-rich mine with state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities and best-in-class mechanisation.

Commenting on the induction of the EVs, Arun Misra, CEO, Hindustan Zinc, said, “Our aim at Hindustan Zinc is to revolutionise underground mining, boost productivity, raise underground safety standards, and provide sustainable operations solutions. Thanks to our unwavering commitment to environmentally sustainable business and net zero emissions, we've always focused on innovative and environmentally friendly solutions. I believe the introduction of battery-electric vehicles in Hindustan Zinc’s underground mining operations will revolutionise the sector and mark a great step forward for India in terms of responsible mining.”

Subhasis Mohanty, Managing Director, Normet India, said, “We are pleased to partner with Hindustan Zinc to solidify our ESG commitment, by bringing into reality the first of our fleet of Normet SmartDrive BEVs in HZL underground mines. Our association has been valuable to drive common goals on sustainability and decarbonisation in the Indian mining sector, driving transformation in the underground space and building long-term value for all our stakeholders.”

Hindustan Zinc will achieve considerable benefits by adopting Normet SmartDrive EVs, including significant savings on diesel as well as vehicle maintenance. The SmartDrive EVs are powered by 90kWH lithium-ion batteries and come equipped energy recuperation technology and hydraulic dual-circuit oil-immersed brakes to provide additional braking power. The vehicles also have the advantage of zero-emission in the operating environments, considerable noise and vibration reduction associated with equipment. In addition to that, BEVs comes with high-efficiency driveline and consumes less kWh/ km compared to diesel vehicles.


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