Australian Aluminium Council welcomes new aluminium decarbonisation roadmap

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The Australian Aluminium Council has backed a new aluminium decarbonisation strategy developed by the Mission Possible Partnership and the International Aluminium Institute

The Making Net Zero Aluminium Possible: A Transition Strategy for a 1.5° C-compliant Aluminium Sector, which was introduced at the recent New York Climate Week, proposes an ambitious but achievable decarbonisation roadmap for the global aluminium industry. 

Aluminium plays a critical role in global energy transition, with global demand expected to increase by almost 80 per cent from 2020 to 179 million tonnes per year by 2050. 

“We welcome the support already shown by the federal and state governments for that research, while noting the scale of the challenge ahead,” the council said in a media release

“The Strategy indicates that for the ‘digestion’ phase of the refining process, while a range of solutions will likely become commercially available in the late 2020s, their suitability depends on local conditions, particularly the availability of zero-emissions electricity.”

According to the strategy, a global investment of approximately USD 1 trillion will be required for the aluminium sector transition, including significant investment to supply the required zero-emissions electricity. 

Marghanita Johnson, CEO of the council, lauded the strategy for recognising the possibility of meeting rising aluminium demand, reducing emissions from the sector to net zero by 2050, and achieving a 1.5°C target. 

“The Strategy outlines not only actions the industry needs to take, but also actions required by Governments to support this. In particular, developing policy which is predictable, stable and transparent will enable businesses to confidently plan for this substantial investment,” said Johnson. 

In a statement, Johnson said the owners of Australia’s four smelters have signalled their desire to recontract renewable energy at the end of their current terms, running from 2025 to 2029. 

Smelters are expected to play a key role in being more flexible users of power to help balance variable generation grid systems over the long term, according to the council’s statement.