BHP China Baowu and Monash University launch an Industry Knowledge Centre

BHP, China Baowu and Monash University, have announced the formation of an Industry Knowledge Centre with the aim of accelerating the deployment of technology capable of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from steel production through scientific research, pilots and plant-scale trials.

BHP will be the main funding partner for the Industry Knowledge Centre, providing US $8 million over three years, while China Baowu will provide in-kind support for the initial phase of work, including the piloting and plant-scale trials of potential carbon abatement technology. Monash University has been appointed as the administrator through its existing Monash Suzhou Research Institute and will administer the virtual collaboration of the Industry Knowledge Centre from their Australia and China campuses. A management committee comprising representatives from BHP, China Baowu and Monash University will review proposals and funding to applicants from a network of partner institutes.

The Industry Knowledge Centre is tasked with:

  • Enabling the real-world testing and assessment of CO2 abatement technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the blast furnace route for steel production.
  • Facilitating the assessment of several different potential CO2 abatement options, including recycling of process gas, injection of low-carbon hydrogen and other low-carbon fuels, use of renewable energy sources and application of carbon capture and utilisation technology in the context of China’s integrated steel plants.
  • Critically reviewing funding applications from partner institutes in Australia, China and beyond, and aims to promote sharing of research and trial outcomes.
  • Bringing academic and industry partners together to support successful demonstrations and subsequent commercialisation of potential technologies capable of reducing CO2 emissions from the blast furnace route for steel production. The program will work closely with China Baowu’s Global Low-Carbon Metallurgical Innovation Alliance to identify project opportunities and promote results.

BHP Sales & Marketing Sustainability’s Vice President, Dr. Rod Dukino, said: “This is an important addition to our portfolio mix of research and industry partnerships aimed at developing technologies capable of reducing CO2 emissions from steel production. China Baowu is a world leading steelmaker, and these projects are important milestones following on from our joint MoU in 2020 and preliminary studies.

The Industry Knowledge Centre will help link academia and industry partners in China and Australia to share knowledge, develop talent and support the pilot and plant-scale testing of potential technologies for reducing CO2 emissions from blast furnace steel production.”

The latest announcement follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by BHP and China Baowu in 2020, which progressed to preliminary studies with leading research and development (R&D) institutes in 2022. These studies included a China steel industry carbon capture, utilisation and storage development roadmap and study of hydrogen-based steelmaking and identified further R&D requirements and options for pilot trials to be progressed through the Industry Knowledge Centre.

China Baowu’s Low Carbon Metallurgy Innovation Center’s Executive Deputy Director, Dr Mao Xiaoming, said: “The setting up of the Industry Knowledge Centre with BHP and Monash University strengthens our longstanding relationship and establishes a model of joint industrial effort to promote technological innovation and a sustainable transition to a lower carbon world. As the largest steelmaker in the world, China Baowu aims to play an active role in working with our partners to identify and implement low carbon technologies to reduce the carbon emissions from the steelmaking value chain.”

Monash University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor and President (Suzhou), Prof. Aibing Yu, said:
“Monash University is pleased to bridge BHP, a leading global resources company, and China Baowu, the largest steelmaker in the world, to tackle climate change, a global challenge problem. The Industry Knowledge Centre will play an important role in promoting the collaboration between academia and industry and the relationship between Australia and China.”