Revolutionising Industry to Electrify? Challenge Accepted


The world is in the midst of an energy revolution. Globally, the focus is on decarbonisation to meet net zero by 2050. More than ever before, the transition to electrifying mining operations is at the forefront of the mining industry as it plays a vital role in meeting the ambitious and required targets set by governing bodies.

Ampcontrol has more than half a century of experience in challenging the status quo and delivering safe, smart, customised energy solutions and services. Solving complex problems in energy by developing world-first innovations, Ampcontrol and their smart minded people accept the challenge of electrification. Thomas Steigler, Ampcontrol Research Engineer, is a respected leader is his field. Developing engineered solutions with a holistic approach for mine site needs, Thomas works with industry and customers, utilising Ampcontrol’s full lifecycle offering to enable progression.

The Electric Mine conference, recently held in Perth, Western Australia, attended by internationally operating organisations of the industry, heard from Thomas and other like-minded leaders on the challenges of meeting net zero. Thomas showcased Ampcontrol and his industry-leading knowledge on battery technology for the electrification of fleet, charging infrastructure and balancing of strategies for energy management.

Mine Electrification

“At Ampcontrol, we have a complete view of the electrical infrastructure needs for a mine site. We develop and customise infrastructure with an understanding that each company and each mine site has different needs,” says Thomas Steigler.

Developing and launching to market after recognising demand, the Ampcontrol MegaWatt Charger, is a key infrastructure asset providing new charging ability. Dual, fast and MegaWatt charging are enablers to large-scale fleet electrification to support decarbonisation. Noting charge time has been a key barrier to wider acceptance of battery vehicles within the mining industry, this asset removes this barrier.

Innovative battery technology is at the core of Ampcontrol’s world’s first IECEx Group 1 certified electric vehicle DRIFTEX. Using an Intrinsically Safe traction battery, DRIFTEX was designed and developed in response to growing industry demand for low emissions technology to help decarbonise and electrify the mining industry.

Working with customers in estimating their electrical infrastructure needs and responding to industry regulations encouraging electrification, were the instigating triggers for the innovative technology development within both DRIFTEX and the Ampcontrol MegaWatt Charger.

Dedicated resources to Research & Development (R&D) are crucial to remaining ahead of the curve and providing leading innovations to deliver lower emissions. Through ResTech, a joint venture between Ampcontrol and the University of Newcastle, Ampcontrol is enabled to deliver on innovative solutions and will continue to provide leading technology advancements in energy.

Megawatt Billboard-Blue

Collaboration Unlocks the Future

Beyond talking about the path to 2050, Ampcontrol is well underway in the doing. On 8 May 2024, Ampcontrol announced a collaboration agreement with Siemens, a global technology company, to work on and provide to market technology solutions for battery energy storage and grid applications for the Australian renewable energy market.

“It’s not always about developing new technology. It’s about optimising and improving the available products in market, whilst also advancing the assets and technology mine sites already have to help meet the changing electrical infrastructure needs,” says Rod Henderson, Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO.

“We’re aware of the diversity of landscapes across mine sites, from hard rock to underground, and everything in between. We work alongside customers to engineer solutions to suit the site needs of today, recognising and accounting for the forecast site needs on the path to 2050,” says Mr Henderson.

Decarbonisation pathways incorporate elements beyond the need for technical product development and innovation; the mining industry is focused on how these innovations can be implemented across mine sites and maintained as part of the decarbonisation journey.

Electric Mine Line graphics

Balancing Tactics | Energy Management and Charging Infrastructure

In many cases, mine sites can utilise infrastructure already on site, taking advantage of existing electrical equipment to minimise capital expenditure. This enables sites to holistically consider operational management changes whilst planning for infrastructure upgrades of the future.

“Every approach has a different cost associated with implementation and a different level of effectiveness. When you can estimate what your electrical demand is going to look like, you can decide which approach is most suitable for your site requirements,” says Mr Steigler.

Understanding energy management and the benefits of operational change are levers Ampcontrol works with to develop the pathway forward and support our customers. Ampcontrol innovations in battery technology and charging go hand in hand with energy management needs.

“Alongside having the technical capability in creating products, as innovators and manufacturers, we also have the knowledge and expertise in implementation to maximise efficiency and reduce overall capital expense,” says Mr Henderson.

A momentous time of transformation and growth within the resource industry, exponential change; a global energy revolution. The team at Ampcontrol says Challenge Accepted.