PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner BHP has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japanese steel producer JFE Steel to jointly study technologies and pathways capable of making material reductions to greenhouse-gas emissions from the integrated steelmaking process.
BHP on Wednesday said that it was prepared to invest up to $15-million over the five-year partnership, which builds on the strong history of technical research and collaboration between the two companies.
BHP’s investment will be funded under its $400-million Climate Investment Program, set up in 2019 to coordinate and prioritise projects, partnerships, research and development (R&D) and venture investments to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, invest in offsets and support development of technologies with the highest potential to impact change.
The JFE-BHP partnership will focus on the role of Australian raw materials to help to increase efficiency and reduce emissions from the blast furnace and direct reduced iron (DRI) steelmaking routes.
The partnership intends to study the properties of raw materials, with focus on specific areas such as iron-ore pretreatment, use of enhanced iron-ore lump, high quality coke and DRI, required to decrease iron and steelmaking emissions and support a transition to a low carbon future. Throughout the collaboration the two companies will also share knowledge on reducing carbon emissions across the steel value chain.
This JFE-BHP partnership follows other BHP investments to support the reduction of value chain emissions, including up to $35-million for the collaboration with China’s largest steelmaker, China Baowu, and awarding BHP’s first liquefied natural gas- (LNG-) fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers contract, with the aim to reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 30% per voyage.
“This partnership with JFE demonstrates a joint commitment to make our activities more sustainable through collaboration and technological improvement. This work will support and help progress Japan’s carbon neutral ambitions by 2050,” said BHP chief commercial officer Vandita Pant.
“Our investments are focused on actions that can create real change, and we continue to take positive steps on our climate agenda and in collaborating with others to help reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals,” Pant said.