According to The Australian Financial Review, BHP has talked up its role in global decarbonisation after aligning itself with Elon Musk’s Tesla as part of a transition away from fossil fuels that could ultimately lead to the sale of its global oil and gas assets.
The resurgent BHP Nickel West division will supply electric vehicle-maker Tesla with the key battery-making material from its mines and refinery in Western Australia under a deal unveiled on Thursday that came with a broad commitment for BHP to work closely with Tesla on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The off-take agreement and collaboration commitments added fuel to fire that BHP is considering exiting oil and gas on top of the sale of remaining interests in energy coal mines.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the national power market operator has set itself the goal to be able to handle 100 per cent renewable energy on the grid by 2025 to avoid having to shut off some zero-cost wind and solar generation.
Daniel Westerman, who started as chief executive of the Australian Energy Market Operator on May 17, will use his first public address on Wednesday to outline the huge challenge ahead to get the National Electricity Market equipped to handle an all-renewables generation mix that is expected to occur from time to time within just four years.
Mr Westerman, an Australian who spent seven years at Britain’s National Grid before returning to run AEMO, will also point to the opportunity for a new era of economic prosperity for Australia, underpinned by plentiful cheap renewable energy.
According to The Nikkei Asia, Norway's Yara International, one of the world's largest fertilizer companies, looks to produce ammonia using renewable energy in Australia as Japan plans to use the chemical as an alternative to coal, CEO Svein Tore Holsether revealed in a recent online interview with Nikkei.
The company aims to set up a supply chain for ammonia, which does not emit carbon dioxide when burned.
Ammonia is used mainly as a fertilizer, but as Japan shifts toward cleaner energy sources to combat climate change, it is expected to help replace high-emission coal.
Yara's plan, in cooperation with French electric utility Engie, calls for installing water electrolysis systems at an ammonia plant in western Australia's Pilbara region to produce hydrogen using solar power.
The hydrogen will be used to produce carbon-free "green ammonia," made from renewable energy sources, as a pilot project starting by the end of 2023. Capacity will be small scale at 3,700 tons per year.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Fortescue Metals Group says it has produced both green iron and green cement in trials that are part of the company’s ambitions to become a major player in green energy and at the same time slash carbon emissions from iron ore mining.
The company said that it had also hit deadlines around trials using batteries, green ammonia and green hydrogen across its iron ore mining operations, including in running locomotives and powering drill rigs, haul trucks and ships.
The June 30 trial deadlines were set in March when chairman Andrew Forrest doubled down on his ambitions to turn the company green by declaring its mining operations would be carbon neutral by 2030.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Australia’s exports of resources and energy are set to crash through the $300 billion mark for the first time this financial year, buoyed by unexpectedly high prices for iron ore which is expected to account for almost half of the total.
About $310 billion of export revenues are anticipated from mining and energy in 2020-21, according to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, which has lifted its estimate for 2020-21 export revenues by almost 5 per cent since March.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Japanese trading giant Itochu has given important support for a $1 billion coal-based hydrogen energy project in Gladstone that would effectively capture its carbon emissions in soft drinks, processed foods, industrial gases ands building materials.
Itochu is set to provide an unspecified sum towards the $US20 million ($26.7 million) needed for the Gladstone Energy and Ammonia Project to reach financial close, which is targeted for late next year. The project assumes an extended role for a low-cost fossil energy-based form of hydrogen and aims to achieve commercial production by late 2024.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the minerals driving decarbonisation were the big winners out of a second consecutive quarter of record cash inflows to Australia’s thriving exploration sector.
BDO analysis of the $2.37 billion pumped into pre-revenue explorers in the first three months of this year revealed a big swing towards lithium, uranium and rare earths, as exploration veteran Will Robinson said the sector was starting to show an improved success rate, thanks to new technology and strong scientific support from governments.
Gold has dominated fundraising at the small end of the mining sector in recent years, accounting for half of all funds flowing into the sector in 2020.
According to The ENEOS website, ENEOS Corporation announces that it will participate in a large-scale solar power generation business in Queensland, Australia.
ENEOS acquired 100% of the shares of Edenvale Solar Park Pty Ltd, which will operate the plant, from DPI Solar 3 Pte Ltd through Sapphire Energy Pty Ltd, which is a joint venture with Sojitz Corporation. Construction began in June 2021.
This will be the first time ENEOS has developed a solar power generation business in Australia. The project has been under development since 2019 with DPI and Sojitz, a partner in the ongoing offshore wind power project in Taiwan. The module capacity of the newly constructed power plant will be 204 MW (ENEOS proportional capacity: 102 MW), the largest solar power plant for ENEOS.
70% of the power generated at the plant will be supplied to a local electricity retailer at a fixed price.
The site is located about 300 kilometers west of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland. The climate of Queensland in general is said to be suitable for the solar power business due to its abundant solar radiation. The state government is targeting zero emission by 2050, and further expansion of renewable energy is expected in the state.
According to The Renewable Now, the industrial development zone of Aldoga in Central Queensland will become home to a 3-GW electrolyser for the production of renewable hydrogen.
The project was proposed by a joint venture of government-owned generator Stanwell and Japanese industrial giant Iwatani Corporation. The duo has signed an option agreement to secure 236 ha (583 acres) of land for the export-scale facility, set to export “millions of tonnes” of green hydrogen globally by the early 2030s.
According to the Queensland government, the project could generate AUD 4.2 billion (USD 3.25bn/EUR 2.67bn) in hydrogen exports and AUD 10 billion for the state economy. More than 5,000 jobs are expected to be opened locally.
According to The Australian Financial Review, first Rio Tinto stole Brazilian miner Vale’s title as the world’s biggest exporter of iron ore, then BHP and Fortescue pinched Rio’s title as the lowest cost producer of the steelmaking ingredient.
Rio has traditionally been the biggest exporter of a premium type of iron ore called lump, which as the name suggests is sold in lumpier form than the “fines” products that dominate Australia’s iron ore export volumes.
But BHP has been closing the gap since 2017 and last month’s arrival of the South Flank mine could enable BHP to overtake Rio as the miner with the biggest proportion of lump in its exports and perhaps even the biggest volumes of lump overall.
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