THP-E114: World’s Largest Hydrogen Powered Mine Haul Truck Is On The Move In South Africa And The Rotterdam Port Makes Waves With Big News.

May 12, 2022 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2022 • Episode: 114

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 114, The Port of Rotterdam estimates a hydrogen supply hike. And Anglo American announces an amazing new technology. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Paul Rodden



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The Port of Rotterdam estimates a hydrogen supply hike. And Anglo American announces an amazing new technology. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden. And welcome to the hydrogen podcast.

In an article from, Bart Meijer and Kate Abnett write, Rotterdam port hikes 2030 estimate for hydrogen supplies. Europe’s biggest port has tripled its estimate for the amount of sustainably produced hydrogen it expects to be able to deliver to Northwest Europe each year by 2030 and a boost for the region’s attempts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Rotterdam port said on Tuesday, current plans and projects by companies in the port area and exporting countries could deliver 4.6 million tonnes of hydrogen per year by 2030. Most of the increase would come from imports, which could reach 4 million tonnes by 2030, with local production seen around 600,000 tonnes according to the plans, both import and production could be a mix of green hydrogen, which is derived from renewable energy and blue hydrogen made from natural gas and a process which emissions of co2 are captured and stored.

Now currently, no green or blue hydrogen is imported into Rotterdam. This according to a port spokesperson, adding its previous expectation was to reach 1.5 million tonnes of sustainable hydrogen by 2030. Hydrogen in Rotterdam is currently only delivered from gas and a process that creates considerable co2 emissions. Hydrogen is an alternative to natural gas as energy and raw material. The European Union is banking on hydrogen derived from renewable energy in the transition to cleaner energy. The EU wants to produce 10 million tons of green hydrogen by 2030 and import a further 10 million tonnes. This according to EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans. For Green hydrogen to take off however, governments need to ensure energy from hydrocarbons would no longer be cheaper than sustainable alternatives. The European Commission will next week propose a widespread rollout of co2 quote Contracts for Difference schemes to address this issue and support green hydrogen projects again according to Timmermans.

The EU will also propose regulations defining which types of hydrogen count as green, which the Port Said was needed to make sure hydrogen imported from outside Europe will also be accepted as green. Europe already uses hydrogen in some industrial processes, but 90% of that is currently produced from gas and a process that emits co2. Okay, so an estimated big hike in numbers for hydrogen at the Rotterdam port. I’ve always expected Rotterdam in the Netherlands to lead Europe and hydrogen production and distribution through the European hydrogen backbone. But lately, news from Rotterdam has been quiet. But what struck me as interesting in this report is that the EU is going to propose regulations defining which types of hydrogen are green, and I would be willing to bet that these regulations will be very similar to what the US has already established, and will be based more on the carbon intensity of the project and process rather than just using renewable energy and water.

Next, in a press release, Anglo American announced on May 6, a prototype of the world’s largest hydrogen powered mine haul truck designed to operate in everyday mining conditions at its Mogalakwena platinum mine in South Africa.

The two megawatt hydrogen battery hybrid truck generating more power than its diesel predecessor, and capable of carrying a 290 tonne payload is part of the Anglo Americans nuGen Zero Emission Haulage Storage or ZEHS. nuGen provides a fully integrated green hydrogen system consisting of production fueling and haulage system with green hydrogen to be produced at the mine site. nuGen is part of future smart mining, Anglo Americans innovation led approach to sustainable mining, which brings together technology and digitalization to drive sustainability outcomes, including their commitment to carbon neutrality across their operations by 2040. And a quote from Duncan Wanblad, Chief Executive of Anglo American nuGen is a tangible demonstration of our future smart mining program, changing the future of our industry with diesel emissions from our haul truck fleet accounting for 10 to 15% of our total scope one emissions.

This is an important step on our pathway to carbon neutral operations by 2040. The mining industry is playing a considerable role in helping the world decarbonize both through our own emissions footprint and the metals and minerals that we produce that are critical to low carbon industry and transport systems over the next several years. We envisage converting or replacing our current fleet of diesel powered trucks with a zero emission haulage system fueled with green hydrogen. If this pilot is successful, we could remove up to 80% of diesel emissions at our open pit mines. By rolling this technology across our global fleet, Anglo American has been a long standing champion of the potential offered by the hydrogen economy. Recognizing its role in enabling the shift to greener energy and cleaner transport. The hydrogen economy provides an opportunity to create new engines of economic activity with a combination of abundant renewable energy sources like solar and wind, and as the world’s largest producer of PGMS. Hydrogen is a strategic priority for South Africa and presents a significant opportunity for economic development, including the creation of new jobs and the development of the PGMS sector, while also contributing to South Africa’s decarbonisation objectives. And just a little background on South Africa’s hydrogen Valley.

In South Africa, the Department of science and innovation DSi and the South African National Development Institute, in a partnership with Anglo American Bambili Energy, and ENGIE are looking into opportunities to create a Hydrogen Valley. The proposed hydrogen Valley will stretch approximately 835 kilometers from the platinum group metals rich Bushveld geological area in Limpopo province along the industrial and commercial corridor to Johannesburg and to the south coast at Durban. The nuGen™ Zero Emission Haulage Solution is one of the first projects for South Africa’s hydrogen Valley. A feasibility study for South Africa’s hydrogen Valley which was published in October of 2021. identifies three hubs Johannesburg extending to Rustenburg and Pretoria Durban encompassing the city itself and Richards Bay and Limpopo Province centered around Anglo Americans Mogalakwena PGMS mine with a fundamental role to play in integrating hydrogen into South Africa’s economy and in establishing South Africa and its abundant renewable energy resources as a strategically important center for green hydrogen production.

Nine key pilot projects have also been identified across these hubs and are recommended to prioritize by developers. They span the transport, industrial and construction sectors. And for the nuGen project Anglo American has worked with some of the world’s leading creative engineering and technology companies such as ENGIE, First Mode, Ballard and NPROXX, and in this collaboration, they have hit four key targets. The first which is to design build and test a 1.2 megawatt hour battery pack, as the haul truck system uses multiple fuel cells that deliver up to 800 kilowatts of power, combining to deliver a total of two megawatts of power. The second is to design and implement a software solution to safely manage power and energy between the fuel cells batteries, and vehicle drive train. The third is to develop the power management and battery systems from the ground up, enabling Anglo American to tailor the system to each mine and improve overall efficiency by designing an energy recovery as the haul trucks traveled downhill through regenerative braking. And lastly, to build a hydrogen production storage and refueling complex, Mogalakwena that incorporates the largest electrolyzer in Africa, and a solar plant to support the operation of the haul truck.

Okay, so really a huge press release by Anglo American that really hasn’t received as much press as it deserves. And I know that Anglo American has been trying to get something like this launched for some time. And it sounds like now with the help of ENGIE, First Mode, Ballard and NPROXX, they finally been able to get it done. And the system that they’ve engineered sounds like a perfect application to combine battery and hydrogen technologies. Now, if you haven’t seen these offroad dump trucks, they’re absolutely massive, and are designed to run almost all the time hauling rock and ore from the pit mine up to the surface and back down again. And I’d be curious to see if this technology that they’ve developed is going to be used solely in house or if they’re going to license this to other manufacturers. What I also find very interesting about this press release is a little snippet in there about South Africa’s Hydrogen Valley. And I look forward to reading more information about the hydrogen development in this very specific region if for no other reason than because the platinum produced at this Mogalakwena mine is extremely critical to the hydrogen industry.

Alright, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have a second, I would really appreciate it if you can leave a good review on whatever platform it is that you listen to Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google, whatever it is, that would be a tremendous help to the show. And as always, if you have any feedback, you’re always welcome to email me directly at And as always, take care. Stay safe. I’ll talk to you later.

Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did want to hear more, I’d appreciate it if you would either subscribe to this channel on YouTube, or connect with your favorite platform through my website at Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.