The equipment presented in Antofagasta features state-of-the-art technology to recover energy generated while going downhill and braking. This milestone positions Antofagasta as an international benchmark in electromobility and sustainable transportation.
As part of SQM’s commitment to clean energy, the environment and more sustainable industry, the first set of 100% electric equipment in Chile and the Americas was presented on the grounds of the Huanchaca Ruins. This milestone was achieved in partnership with Randon, Volvo, Epysa, Nazar and Andes Motor. The equipment is the latest addition to the largest, most diverse electric fleet in the Chilean mining industry, which SQM launched in 2022 in this same region.
Led by SQM in partnership with these five leading industrial transportation companies, the milestone reflects the company’s corporate value of sustainability and various environmental goals and commitments, including achieving carbon neutrality in all its products by 2040.
At the event, Ivo Colombo, SQM’s Nitrates-Iodine Logistics and Planning Manager, noted: “Today we have gathered to launch this 100% electric equipment, which is the first in the Americas and will be used along different routes in our operations. With our strategic partners and support from authorities, we will be able to continue advancing in sustainability and electromobility in our country. We are writing and playing a leading role–from northern Chile–in a new chapter in the global development of electromobility and the transformation of the industry.”
The ceremony was led by Antofagasta’s representatives from the Transportation and Energy ministries, Enrique Viveros and Dafne Pino, respectively; as well as Pablo Pisani, SQM’s Corporate Affairs Manager for the Nitrates Iodine Division; Ivo Colombo, SQM’s Nitrates-Iodine Logistics and Planning Manager; and representatives of the partner brands, together with the respective chancellors of Universidad de Antofagasta and Universidad Católica del Norte, Marco Cikutovic and Rodrigo Alda, who witnessed how the history of the global development of electromobility is being written in Antofagasta.
The regional representative from the Energy Ministry, Dafne Pino, commented: “This activity is part of the national electromobility strategy that was launched precisely in our region. The energy sector is responsible for 77% of greenhouse gas emissions and one third of the mitigation challenge is in the transportation sector. Therefore, this type of action by SQM is a significant step towards achieving carbon neutrality.”
Enrique Viveros, the regional representative from the Transportation and Telecommunications Ministry, explained: “SQM’s initiative to incorporate electromobility in all its rolling stock–buses, vans and cargo trucks–is remarkable. These efforts are supported by the government, so we seek to incorporate more electromobility and decentralize it, and what we are experiencing here is an example of that. We hope that metallic and non-metallic industries will incorporate this type of fleet and follow in SQM’s footsteps.”
This 100% electric equipment includes a tipper semi-trailer for transporting nitrate salts between the Coya Sur mine and the Port of Tocopilla and a tank for transporting brine solutions at the SQM Salar site. This equipment features modern technology that will strive to test the autonomy of electric trucks for large-scale mining and their ability to stay on par with a diesel mining truck of similar characteristics.
Randon’s Hybrid R line of semi-trailers boasts technology and innovation to recover energy generated during downhill and braking movements. This reduces fuel costs, causing less wear and tear on components and contributing to less waste generation. SQM has taken important steps in this area. For example, it became the first mining company to be awarded the Clean Activity Seal, which confirms its commitment to moving towards carbon neutrality.
In addition, SQM is part of the Public-Private Agreement for Electromobility promoted by the Energy Sustainability Agency, and its products have the lowest carbon footprint in the market, which aim to contribute to human progress through the production of specialty fertilizers, iodine, industrial chemicals, potassium and lithium.