According to The Australian Financial Review, BHP has sought federal approval to build a new Queensland coal mine which would run for up to 90 years, just months after it was praised by environment groups for keeping huge volumes of coal in the ground with its plan to shut a NSW mine early.
BHP’s request to build a new mine at Blackwater South came as Glencore – the miner that championed the notion that “managing down” coal mines was more ethical than selling them – sought federal approval to add an extra two years to the life of its Ulan coal mine in NSW.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Fortescue Future Industries has partnered with AGL to explore the possibility of producing green hydrogen and ammonia in the Hunter Valley when the energy company retires its Liddell and Bayswater coal power stations.
AGL said the study will focus on a proposed facility capable of producing between 150MW and 2GW of hydrogen export and domestic use.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the Australian Labor government has announced Australia’s first offshore wind regions, firing the starting gun for a growing number of projects that aim to capitalise on the country’s renewable energy ambitions.
Moving quickly to take advantage of the passage of legislation for the party’s goal to reduce emissions by 43 per cent, Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen named five regions with offshore wind projects for future public consultation.
According to The Australian Financial Review, BHP Nickel West’s exploration spending this year will hit its highest level since 2005 as it moves to capitalise on the soaring demand for electric vehicles.
Increasing sales of electric vehicles is a key objective of many governments that have signed up to net zero emissions by 2050, as reducing carbon from the transport sector is proving more challenging than other sectors.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Hysata, an Australian hydrogen technology company, has raised more than $40 million to fund its expansion after revolutionising the development of the fuel source increasingly touted as an alternative to fossil fuels.
Hysata’s process is about 20 per cent more efficient than traditional electrolysis, and the breakthrough is critical to achieving commercialisation, the threshold for which is thought to be a production cost of $2 per kilogram or less.
The breakthrough has fuelled excitment in the sector. Hysata said its $42.5 million capital raising was oversubscribed, having attracted local and foreign heavyweights, including the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, UK-listed IP Group Australia, Vestas Ventures from Denmark, local super fund Hostplus and steelmaker BlueScope.
According to The Renew Economy, the South Australia Labor government says it has received 60 different proposals from organisations around the world on its $593 million hydrogen jobs plan for Whyalla, and will now study these to decide on whether to modify, expand or improve on its plans.
The Malinauskas government went to the recent election with a controversial proposal for a government-funded hydrogen hub at Whyalla that would include a 250MW electrolyser and a 200MW hydrogen-fuelled power station.
According to The Australian Financial Review, mining giant Rio Tinto has struck a global deal with Ford Motor Company to develop and supply battery and low-carbon materials – such as aluminium, lithium, and copper – to be used in Ford vehicles including the next generation of lightweight, electric trucks.
The non-binding memorandum of understanding is just the start of the exploratory journey but nevertheless masks high ambitions as the transition to electric vehicles gathers pace in the major markets of North America, Europe and China.
According to The Australian Financial Review, pathology giant Sonic Healthcare and artificial intelligence start-up Harrison.ai have launched a new venture to speed up the diagnosis and detection of cancer, and other tissue-based diseases.
Franklin.ai has been established as a joint venture between the companies following Sonic’s investment in Harrison.ai’s $129 million Series B funding round last year .
According to The Australian Financial Review, Japanese bank Nomura’s new sustainable technology and infrastructure arm, dubbed Nomura Greentech, has been spotted in Australian deals for the first time, seeking to raise $500 million for a renewable energy group.
Nomura Greentech’s bankers are in the market for Energy Estate, an independent energy producer with a portfolio of energy projects across Australia, New Zealand and the United States and based in Sydney.
According to the document, Energy Estate has investments in projects with more than 34 gigawatts of production capacity, 8.7GW of long-term duration storage projects and 7.5GW of electrolysis projects.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Australia has the potential to be “the new Saudi Arabia” of green energy and minerals, says Patrick Lammers, chief operating officer of E.ON, the huge European utility that hopes to start importing green hydrogen from Fortescue Future Industries as early as 2025.
Mr Lammers said “I made a bit of a joke, but I think it actually has something in it. You know, Australia could be the new Saudi Arabia, but then not only having the energy exports, you also export the new minerals in a very green way. This makes you the front-runner, and you could be the richest country in the world.”
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