Liotech and NSTU NETI launched an energy-efficient electric locomotive at the diamond mine in Yakutia

22 April, 2019 14:28:00
The ALROSA`s International'niy underground mine hosts the industrial tests of a unique mine electric locomotive on batteries produced by RUSNANO project company Liotech.

The equipment testing will last six months. According to the test results, the diamond mining company will decide on transferring other equipment to electric traction. 

In February 2019, this locomotive was successfully tested at Tula mining equipment plant, where it was manufactured. Then it was delivered to the city of Mirny for field testing. Such electric locomotives are intended to transport various cargo in mines: coal and rock, heavy and high-viscosity oil, equipment and other materials. Previous generation electric locomotives used the lead-acid or alkaline batteries which required frequent refilling of aggressive acids or alkalis. The ventilation requirements for their room charging sites were increased as the explosive hydrogen is released during this process. The Liotech product is devoid of such drawbacks: a lithium-ion battery with a total energy capacity of 70 kW/h can be charged within 2-4 hours, depending on the degree of its discharge. There are no gas emission both during charging and discharging at normal operation of a lithium-ion battery.

The combination of energy-efficient lithium-ion battery and modern electric locomotive designed by engineers of Novosibirsk State Technical University NETI allows increasing the performance of the new machine up to 50% compared to previous generations of electric locomotives. The efficiency of the new motor is 90 %, which is 10-20 % higher than that of modern Russian motors. In addition, its weight and dimensions are 2-3 times smaller than those of its counterparts.

A number of know-how is used in the motor design. The new technologies used in the magnetic system design and special winding allowed to significantly reduce the mass of active materials and increase the efficiency of the motor. The designers managed to get rid of sliding contacts that can spark and cause an accident. "Our motor is powered by a DC source, but the stator winding is already supplied with alternating current, - explains Alexander Shevchenko, the head of the Electrical Engineering Department, NSTU NETI. - A special sensor transmits a signal of the rotor position to the control system and, depending on this, the desired current is formed in the winding. Thus, we completely got rid of the sliding contacts".

"We are implementing a unique project that has no analogues in Russia. The battery and charging station are explosion-proof, which meets the requirements for the mines with dangerous gas and dust emissions. Diamond miners confirmed their interest not only in the further modernization of mine electric locomotives, but also in the transfer of other equipment to electric traction. For example, we are now actively looking for a partner for the production of loading and delivery equipment", said Valeriy Yarmoshchuk, the managing Director of Liotech.

Recently, Liotech and BelAZ signed a Memorandum of cooperation, according to which the Novosibirsk company Liotech will take a part in the creation of traction batteries for quarry and mining equipment. In particular, battery trolleybuses and underground loading and delivery machines for coal mines are to be developed. In addition to ALROSA, other mining companies are interested in such equipment, including SDS-Ugol, Siberian Coal Energy Company and Uralkali. According to the Liotech estimation, the potential market for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for such equipment is over 2 billion rubles.


The joint-stock company "RUSNANO" was established in March 2011 through the reorganization of the state corporation "Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies". AO "RUSNANO" promotes the state policy in the development of the nanoindustry, investing both directly and through investment nanotechnologies funds in financially effective hi-tech projects providing the development of new productions in the territory of the Russian Federation. The main areas of investment are: electronics, optoelectronics and telecommunications, healthcare and biotechnology, metallurgy and metalworking, energy, machine and instrument production, construction and industrial materials, chemistry and petrochemistry. 100% of the shares of AO "RUSNANO" are owned by the state. 97 enterprises and R&D centers operate in 37 regions of Russia owing to the RUSNANO investments. The company works with the profit the last 4 years.

The asset management function of AO "RUSNANO" is performed by the limited liability company "RUSNANO" Management Company "established in December 2013; the Chairman of the Board is Anatoly Chubais.

The tasks of creating the nanotechnological infrastructure and implementing the educational programs are carried out by the Fund of Infrastructure and Educational Programs, which was also created as a result of the state corporation reorganization.

* * *

The limited liability company "Lithium-ion technologies" (OOO Liotech) is the subsidiary of AO "RUSNANO". The company is the only Russian industrial manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries. The Lioteh factory constructed in Novosibirsk Oblast meets all the standards of the technological and environmental safety. The start of production was carried out in December 2011, the design capacity of the enterprise is more than 1GW·h. The areas of the produce application are electric transport, power storage systems, uninterruptible power supplies for critical facilities.

More about the company at

* * *

The mine "International'niy" is the first underground mine of ALROSA and a part of the Mirninsky Ore-Dressing Enterprise. It operates on the kimberlite pipe "International'naya" which has a very high diamond content in the ore (more than 8 carats per ton) since 1999. According to the JORC report, the total reserves of the tube "International'naya" are almost 50 million carats. The volume of the diamond production in 2018 is 3.4 million carats. 

The link to the video of the locomotive tests:

Back to the list