Rio Tinto Partners to Decarbonize Steel  - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Industrial  -  June 13, 2023

Rio Tinto Partners to Decarbonize Steel 

Rio Tinto, an iron ore producer, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore several new projects in Australia and China to decarbonize the steel value chain.

China Baowu, a steelmaker, and Rio Tinto plan to jointly advance specific decarbonization projects.

The MOU calls for the following projects:

  • Research, build and demonstrate a pilot-scale electric melter at one of Baowu’s steel mills in China. This will enable low-carbon steel-making utilizing Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) that has been produced from low- and medium-grade ores.
  • Optimize pelletization technology for Australian ores as a feedstock for low-carbon, shaft furnace-based direct reduction.
  • Expand the development of China Baowu’s HyCROF technology, which can mitigate CO2 emissions from the blast furnace process.
  • Jointly study opportunities for producing low-carbon iron in Western Australia.

Rio Tinto recently signed a $2 billion Western Range Joint Venture in the Pilbara region of Western Australia involving Baowu.

“Rio Tinto and China Baowu are united in a commitment to accelerating the delivery of low-carbon solutions for the entire steel value chain,” Rio Tinto’s Chief Commercial Officer Alf Barrios said in a statement. This MOU aims to address one of the biggest challenges faced by the industry — developing a low-carbon pathway for low-to-medium grade iron ores, which account for the vast majority of global iron ore supply. China’s commitment to curbing emissions and promoting high-quality green development is strongly aligned with our own position where climate change and the low-carbon transition are at the heart of our strategy."

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