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BHP and Mitsubishi sign up to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

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World Coal,

BHP and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd have signed a MoU agreement to work together in the pursuit of emissions reductions, including from the lifecycle use of marketed products.

In Tokyo on 20 June, BHP Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Mackenzie, said the MoU marked the start of an important collaboration with one of BHP’s essential long-term industry partners.

“BHP is committed to accelerating the development of emerging technologies that have the potential to achieve material reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” Mackenzie said.

“Our new collaboration with Mitsubishi Development demonstrates the important role the private sector can play in bringing these technologies to market.

“Both companies are committed to emissions reductions in a range of industries, including the steel industry.

“Our Japanese partners and customers are critical to the development of new technologies and approaches to emissions reductions that stand to benefit countries across the globe.”

Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd (MDP) Managing Director and CEO, Sadahiko Haneji, said this MoU is an important initiative for a company engaging in mineral resource activities in Australia, such as MDP.

“Mitsubishi Corporation Group, and therefore MDP, is committed to simultaneously generating economic value, environmental value and societal value through all business activities it conducts,” Haneji said.

“In line with this principle and guided by commitment to corporate social responsibility, as well as global climate targets, MDP is enhancing its efforts to generate further environmental value, to help society transition to a low carbon future.

“We are confident that this partnership with BHP will help us to achieve our goal, as well as contribute to the sustainable future of our local and global communities.”

BHP and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd are reviewing opportunities to undertake research, pilot new ideas, and develop and deploy new emissions reduction technologies.

The collaboration with Mitsubishi Development forms part of BHP’s global programme of projects in China, Canada, the US and Australia to progress low emissions technology. This is in addition to the near-term and longer-term targets BHP has set for emissions reductions within the company’s global operations.

“At BHP, we work with customers, suppliers and parties along our value chain to influence emissions reductions across the full lifecycle of our products,” Mackenzie said.

“As well as investments in emerging technologies, we set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for our operations, we build the resilience of our operations and communities to the physical impacts of climate change, and we work across sectors to strengthen the global policy and market response.”

Examples of BHP’s low emissions technology investments are:

  • Trials of light electric vehicles powered by lithium ion batteries in BHP’s Olympic Dam underground fleet of light vehicles.
  • Participation in the Lakeland Battery Storage and Solar project featuring a 13 MW solar PV installation with storage of 5 MW/hr in regional Queensland, Australia.
  • US$7.37 million three year partnership with Peking University to identify barriers to carbon capture and storage (CCS) deployment in the industrial sector, with a particular focus on the iron and steel industries.
  • CAN$20 million to establish the International CCS Knowledge Centre to promote the lessons learned from the Boundary Dam project in Saskatchewan (Canada), the world’s first commercial-scale CCS process on a coal-fired power plant.
  • US$6 million equity investment in Canadian-based Carbon Engineering Ltd, leading the development of direct air capture, an innovative technology with the potential to deliver large-scale negative emissions by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • In collaboration with Australia’s national research agency, CSIRO, BHP is scoping a project designed to determine the viability of measuring fugitive methane emissions in near real time from opencast coal mining environments.

BHP’s 50 year relationship with Japan

Japan is BHP’s second largest customer. Sales to Japan were US$4.7 billion in FY18, up 50% on the previous year.

BHP’s partnership with Japan began in the 1960s. The company opened its first office in Tokyo in 1965 – its first shipment of coal was sent in 1968 and the first shipment of iron ore in 1969.

Today, BHP supplies iron ore, coal, copper, nickel, uranium, LPG and LNG to its Japanese customers.

BHP has joint ventures with Japan’s major corporations:

  • The BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) is Australia’s largest coal producer and supplier of seaborne metallurgical coal. BMA is owned 50:50 by BHP and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd. BMA operates seven Bowen Basin mines and owns and operates the Hay Point coal terminal near Mackay.
  • Mitsui as part of BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) owns and operates metallurgical coal assets in the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland (Australia).
  • Itochu and Mitsui for iron ore assets in Western Australia.
  • Mitsubishi Corporation in copper, through Escondida and Antamina in South America.
  • Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsui are also partners in the North West Shelf project, Australia’s largest oil and gas development which supplies LNG to Japan and other countries in the Asia Pacific.

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