First excavator repowered to electric in Australia

Liebherr has debuted the repower of its R 9400 diesel-drive machine to be electric drive. The company says it is committed to advancing mining technology in the realm of electric power conversion. Liebherr-Australia recently commissioned an R 9400 E electric excavator for Fortescue at its Cloudbreak mine site in Western Australia.

The excavator is one of an initial three units that will be delivered to Fortescue over the next 12 months.
The company says that the R 9400 E excavator represents a big step forward with an overhaul that converts it to electric power that provides enhanced performance as well as demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly solutions. The conversion aligns with the mining industry’s increasing focus on sustainability. By upgrading existing equipment with advanced electric components, the R 9400 becomes designated the R 9400 E. It is claimed to significantly reduce emissions and environmental impact while improving operational efficiency.

In December 2023, Liebherr-Australia commissioned an R 9400 E 400-tonne electric excavator for Fortescue at their Cloudbreak iron ore mining operation in Western Australia. This excavator represents the first newly built operational electric excavator in the country. The R 9400 E backhoe excavator is equipped with the Liebherr cable reeler, enabling increased maneuvrability and optimised safety on site. Liebherr says that the repower program offers a cost-effective alternative for mining companies, allowing them to modernise their fleets without the hefty investment required for entirely new equipment. This contributes to long-term cost savings and operational sustainability.

Liebherr believes that the introduction of the R 9400 E in Australia sets a precedent for the broader mining industry, signaling a new era of innovation and sustainability.