27 March 2023
BHP has signed an agreement for piloting of carbon capture and utilisation technology with China’s HBIS Group Co., Ltd (HBIS), one of the world’s largest steelmakers and a major iron ore customer of BHP.
As part of this new project, HBIS and BHP will trial pilot-scale demonstrations of carbon capture and utilisation technologies at HBIS’ steel operations in China. The trial will develop and test technologies that can be integrated into steel production processes to reduce the CO2 emissions. These include Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption, VPSA, an alternative technology to capture the CO2, and two utilisation technologies (slag mineralisation and biological conversion to protein) to sequester the CO2. In addition, BHP will support HBIS in developing and deploying absorptive desulfurisation at HBIS ZXHT Hydrogen Metallurgy Demonstration Project in Xuanhua, Hebei, intended to enable the utilisation of ~60,000 tonnes per year of captured CO2 from the Direct Reduced Iron process in the food or industrial sectors.
BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said: “Our multi-faceted partnership with HBIS will now include pilot testing of novel carbon capture technology at their operating sites in Hebei, and builds on the separate carbon capture trial with ArcelorMittal, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry and Mitsubishi Development, announced in October 2022. Hebei province accounts for around 20 per cent of China’s reported steel production and represents one of the locations in which we aim to support future carbon capture, utilisation and storage initiatives. With our support, HBIS will also be pilot testing options for the utilisation of captured carbon dioxide for the production of saleable products and sequestration in waste slag.”
This new agreement expands on the work streams envisaged in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by BHP and HBIS in 2021, together with the Phase 1 research and development work announced in 2022 with HBIS and University of Science and Technology Beijing. In separate work under the MoU, BHP has also supported HBIS in Enhanced Lump trials, aimed at developing processes for improving direct feed iron ore lump use to achieve incremental reductions in carbon dioxide emissions intensity of steel production, at one of the steelmaker’s plants in Hebei province.
BHP’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry, said: “This collaboration between BHP and HBIS, a leader in the global steel industry and an important customer for our iron ore, will provide a strong example for the industry to follow towards the wider deployment of CCUS and towards achieving major reductions in the CO2 emission intensity of steel production. This joint program demonstrates a strengthening of our partnership, as we progress ambitions established in our 2021 MoU and shows a willingness of the parties to advance innovative technologies that are fit for purpose for steel.”
BHP’s latest collaboration agreement with HBIS will tap into the investment of up to US$15 million over three years proposed by BHP and HBIS in the MoU signed in 2021.
HBIS Chairman Yu Yong said, "BHP is a globally renowned resource company and a long-term partner with HBIS with shared goals in relation to the development of technologies to abate carbon emissions in the steel-making sector. The signing of these projects is another milestone since the two parties’ 'Memorandum of Understanding for Strategic Collaboration in Climate Change' signed in 2021, it starts a new journey in jointly exploring CCUS technology developments in the steel sector.”
Chairman Yu also stated that “HBIS is committed to being a leader, explorer, and practitioner in the industry's transition to lower carbon emissions. CCUS has been identified as a breakthrough technology for reducing carbon emissions from steel and this has anchored CCUS technology as a key component in HBIS Group's low-carbon technology roadmap. In the future, HBIS will continue to focus on the goal of jointly addressing climate change, deepening cooperation with industry value chain partners, adhering to the concept of sustainable development, and consistently cultivating and investing in the green and low-carbon field”.