News | 01/24/2024 Liebherr and Fortescue repower R 9400 excavator to electric configuration

Liebherr Mining and Fortescue have successfully converted an R 9400 excavator from a diesel to an electric powertrain. The repowered machine was commissioned at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek mine site in Western Australia.

The repowered Liebherr R 9400 E excavator at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek mine.

This is the first time in Liebherr’s more than 40 years of working with electric excavators that the company has repowered one of its excavators from diesel to electric configuration during the standard service life of the machine. A hydrogen Offboard Power Unit (OPU) designed and developed by Fortescue will be used to power the newly converted R 9400 E and is currently undergoing site-based testing within Fortescue’s purpose-built zero emission testing area at Christmas Creek.

Easing the transition with retrofittable solutions

The repowering of the R 9400 E reflects the collective efforts of both Liebherr and Fortescue to develop zero emission solutions for mining. Experts from both Liebherr and Fortescue were involved in the project, which took place at Liebherr-Australia’s Perth branch in Western Australia.

“Liebherr is delighted that Fortescue has chosen to collaborate with Liebherr in our joint efforts to accelerate the pathway to a mining future without fossil fuels. This repower project demonstrates that decarbonisation is also possible with Liebherr machines previously supplied with diesel engines,“ explains Oliver Weiss, Executive Vice President of R&D, Engineering, and Manufacturing for Liebherr Mining.

“The modular design of Liebherr equipment makes it possible to repower existing diesel excavators to new zero emission configurations, such as electric powertrains,” Weiss continues. “This means that the diesel equipment customers buy today is also future-proofed for many years to come. The fact that we can ease the transition from traditional to decarbonised mining fleets for our customers is one of the key strategies of the Liebherr Zero Emission Mining Program.”

“This is an exciting milestone for both Fortescue and Liebherr as we work together to develop the zero emission solutions the world needs to step beyond fossil fuels,” says Fortescue Metals Chief Executive Officer, Dino Otranto. “Our partnership with Liebherr is an example of true collaboration and how heavy industry can work together to decarbonise and eliminate fossil fuels.”


Swann Blaise

General Manager Marketing

Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Co.

4100 Chestnut Ave.

Newport News, VA 23607