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PIMCU to Employ 8 More АRGO Li-Ion Battery-Powered LHDs
The Expert Council on Sustainable Development of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation has approved a project for the manufacturing and use of battery-powered load-haul-dumpers (LHDs) as promoting higher sustainability across the nuclear energy value chain.
Less than a year ago, as part of its business diversification strategy, ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (Mining Division of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation) launched the mass production of lithium-ion battery-powered mining equipment under the ARGO brand name, with ARMZ Mining Machinery, LLC (managed by ARMZ Uranium Holding Co.) as the project operator. The project is implemented jointly with the French ARAMINE, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly mining machinery.
«The world does not stand still; previously, the economy was driven by business goals, whereas today big companies are getting increasingly concerned for their ecological footprint. One of the most important items on the sustainable development agenda is to minimize the environmental impact. In particular, we are seeing a rapid transition of the mining industry to battery-powered equipment. The abandonment of diesel machines considerably reduces carbon dioxide emissions, while, inside the mine, the replacement of each load-haul-dumper yields tangible results,» said Igor Semenov, Chairman of the Board, ARMZ Mining Machinery, LLC.
The company’s estimations prove that the operation of battery-powered ARGO LHDs is more efficient than their diesel analogues in terms of sustainable development, primarily, due to zero air pollutant emissions. In addition, battery-powered equipment reduces noise generated by mining operations. Therefore, present-day technology significantly mitigates the negative impact both on workers’ health and on the environment.
Seven lithium-ion battery-powered ARGO LHDs are currently employed in the uranium mines of PIMCU, PJSC — the largest uranium mining enterprise in Russia. Next year, they plan to manufacture and introduce into operation eight more machines.
According to forecasts, the battery-powered equipment market will actively grow and, in as soon as five years from now, similar diesel and battery-powered machines will cost the same, while PIMCU’s transition to a battery-powered LHD fleet is proved to be economically feasible even today. ARMZ Mining Machinery, LLC managed to cut the LHD price cost by 20% as compared to the overseas counterparts due to a number of organizational and technological solutions. In the future, the company will continue to work towards competitiveness with local facilities manufacturing lithium-ion batteries as the next project phase to be implemented in cooperation with RENERA, LLC (part of TVEL, JSC).