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Batchfire’s journey to net-zero by 2050

Batchfire CEO Allan Fidock featured on the popular Bowen Basin Mining Club (BBMC) ‘Crib Room’ podcast last year to discuss our ambitious goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Crib Room hosts Sarah-Joy Pierce and Jodie Currie talk to mining industry ‘movers and shakers’ in each episode of their informative podcast, and in this episode they sat down with Allan to discuss Batchfire’s low emissions future. 

When asked about Batchfire’s “gutsy” net-zero emissions goal, Allan explained that the journey to net-zero was a long one that would involve many small environmental improvements.  

“It’s a challenge obviously, as the operator of a thermal coal mine, but we’ve got a number of projects in development,” he said. 

“It’s little things for us initially, like rebirthing our mobile fleet with electric-wheel-drive trucks.” 

Renewable energy will play a major role throughout Batchfire’s net-zero journey, eventually using a combination of solar and wind energy production to power the Callide Mine. 

“We’ve got plans for an on-site solar farm, just a small one to cover off our own on-site use,” he said. 

“There’s actually a wind farm project that another party is looking to develop adjacent to the mine, for two reasons: One is there is a wind resource in the Callide Valley, and the second reason why is we are right next to a power station so that interconnection capability is close by. 

“So we’re looking at ourselves doing a smaller windfarm project to develop in that same sort of area. That’s a bit longer term and quite a substantial investment, but we’ve started the process of understanding what that might look like. 

“The wind farm will get us close to achieving net-zero in terms of covering our current emissions.” 

Another key focus will be reducing machinery emissions through the exploration of emerging technologies, as Batchfire partners with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). 

“The other thing we’re looking to do is work closely with OEMs on equipment, particularly on fuel systems,” Allan said. 

“Obviously, everything at the moment is diesel. A number of the OEMs we’ve spoken to have tests and trials in terms of battery equipment and, in some instances, early tests around hydrogen. 

“The horsepower that our trucks need to be able to haul waste and coal, battery doesn’t look very viable. But, hydrogen might be.” 

Allan emphasised throughout the episode that all Batchfire’s environmental improvements would contribute towards the larger net-zero goal, but there was no one quick fix solution.   

“It’s not a silver bullet thing, it’s a range of smaller things that we absolutely need to do to assist us with our ESG credibility and credentials,” he said. 

“It’s a real challenge and something we’re not taking lightly. I’m confident we’ll get there and we’ll be able to offset all of our emissions so that we can continue our operation.” 

Allan summed up his overall outlook by stating: “We’ll continue to do what we need to do, to keep the lights on in the world and to keep steel production going.” 

Listen to the full podcast episode below!