- The project contemplates incorporating 45 new electric buses supplied by 100% renewable energy sources and constructing four modern electro terminals in the Huasco, Elqui, and Copiapó Valleys.
Santiago, September 7, 2023 - Compañía Minera del Pacífico (CMP), together with Verschae and Enel X as strategic partners, became the first private mining company in the country to change its fleet of conventional buses to 100% electric, which will be supplied by energy from renewable sources, significantly reducing emissions at its various sites.
The total project includes 45 new electric buses, with an average range of 280 kilometers, which will travel to and from the cities of Caldera, Tierra Amarilla, Copiapó, Huasco, Freirina, Vallenar, La Serena, and Coquimbo, to and from CMP's mining facilities, located in the Copiapó, Huasco, and Elqui valleys. In the first stage, 19 Zhongtong electric vehicles -represented in Chile by Cabal- will be put into circulation, which Enel X financed for their acquisition and incorporation in the coming months to complete CMP's fleet.
The Verschae company adds these modern machines to its operations, seeking continuous improvement in its service and quality of service and optimizing its sustainability and climate change mitigation policies. The company also announced that it will increase hiring women as drivers of the new fleet, who will travel the different routes.
Enel X enabled the electrical infrastructure to implement the Vallenar electro-terminal, the first to operate in the Atacama Region. These facilities will cover the demand for the new electric buses and incorporate a system of recharging points, providing flexibility in energy delivery by regulating the power and schedules for electric supply. This new electro terminal, inaugurated today, will have fast chargers to complete the supply in approximately 2 hours. For the second stage of this project, the Copiapó and Elqui Valley electro terminals are already under construction.
This launch strengthens CMP's commitment to operate sustainably and contribute to the territories. This initiative is 12 years ahead of the National Electromobility Strategy for 2035 for public and private transport and 22 years ahead of the goal for intercity buses. This category includes personnel transport buses selected by CMP.
"Our purpose is to inspire and promote sustainable mining that positively impacts our people, the territories, and the environment. Therefore, moving ahead in electromobility helps us reduce our emissions and carbon footprint. Decisions like this allow us to move ahead towards iron ore mining that makes the best of our processes and encourages us to innovate and incorporate innovative technology on an ongoing basis," said Francisco Carvajal, general manager of CMP.
"The incorporation of these new electric buses and electric terminals for mining represents a new milestone in the development of electromobility in Chile, which we are proud to lead alongside our partners at CMP and Verschae. This step is a crucial piece in moving towards an increasingly clean energy matrix and also helps decarbonize and electrify the country's primary productive sector, which is mining," says Karla Zapata, CEO of Enel X.
"Collaborating with CMP in achieving the total electrification of its bus fleet and operating them with our drivers makes us proud, as it is groundbreaking and sets a forward-looking stage while reinforcing our commitment to promote sustainability and gender equity within the mining industry," said Matias Verschae of Verschae.
The sophisticated standard of the electric buses acquired by CMP will enable it to reduce its carbon footprint, reducing its emissions by approximately 2,700 tons of CO2 per year and avoiding 10,800 liters of waste oil.
The new fleet to be operated by Verschae does not generate noise pollution and will reduce operating costs by around 50% compared to diesel combustion buses.
Cabal, a primary part of the project and representative of the Zhongtong brand, developed a series of training sessions for Verschae's operators. The company also gave detailed information on the function and operation of the new electric buses. Similarly, Enel X provided advice on the management and proper use of the charging infrastructure operation system of the various electro terminals.