SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Leading iron ore producers Rio Tinto and BHP have reached a new framework agreement with leading steelmaker BlueScope Steel to collaborate on steel decarbonisation.
The companies have reached an agreement to investigate on development of Australia’s first iron-making electric smelting furnace pilot plant. Several locations within the country will be assessed for the proposed pilot facility. The pre-feasibility study on the facility is expected to complete by the end of the current year, with possible commissioning slated for 2027, said the press release by BlueScope.
The collaboration will leverage BHP’s and Rio Tinto’s deep knowledge of Pilbara iron ores and combine it with BlueScope’s unique operating experience in electric smelting furnace technology in order to help it meet their ambitious decarbonisation targets. The joint efforts are expected to deliver a potential breakthrough in significantly reducing carbon emissions from steel production.
The partnership will develop a new low-carbon steel smelting technology that will allow wider use of ores by using Pilbara ore as a feedstock, in future steelmaking plants.
The investments in ‘green steel’ development are considered critical as estimates indicate that global steel industry accounts for nearly 8% of the world’s total carbon emissions.