Australia's Fortescue Metals Group has completed its purchase of British technology and engineering firm Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) for £164 million.
WAE, founded in 2010 as an off-shoot of the late Sir Frank Williams' eponymous Formula 1 team, provides engineering, technology and design to firms across the automotive, motorsport, aerospace and defence industries and will remain an independent company.
Its acquisition by Fortescue from Williams Grand Prix Engineering and EMK Capital "brings together leading thinkers and engineers into one organisation to drive progress and combat climate change, enabling Fortescue to become a major player in the growing global market for green industrial transport equipment".
One of the world's largest iron ore producers, Fortescue was founded by Australia's richest man, Andrew Forrest.
He said the two firms will now "work to decarbonise" Fortescue's global operations using WAE's battery technology.
Fortescue aims to achieve net-zero carbon-neutrality by 2030. Instrumental to this goal will be the introduction of cleaner propulsion systems for its 1.9-mile-long freight trains, 400-tonne quarry trucks and heavy plant machinery. The company's mining fleet currently burns through 400-450 million litres of diesel per year.
WAE's acquisition is part of Fortescue's strategy to "acquire critical capabilities needed to help decarbonise this industry worldwide".
One of the first projects planned as part of the deal is the development of a battery-electric train, a set-up that Fortescue describes as an 'infinity train'. Using gravitational energy to recharge its battery, it could see the train make the return trip with no additional charging needs.
Fortescue Founder and Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, said: “The Infinity Train will not only accelerate Fortescue’s race to reach net zero emissions by 2030, but also lower our operating costs, create maintenance efficiencies and productivity opportunities.