BHP Billiton teams up with Peking University to fast-track CCUS research

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BHP Billiton had inked a three-year, US$7.37 million agreement with Peking University (PKU) to unlock the potential of carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) for steel production in China.

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Part of the company’s support for the development of low emissions technology across multiple sectors, the agreement will aim to identify the key policy, technical and economic barriers to CCUS deployment in the industrial sector, particularly in the iron and steel industries.

BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie remarked that the agreement builds on the BHP Billiton SaskPower Carbon Capture Knowledge Centre established in February 2016 to share learnings on CCS for the power sector from the Boundary Dam project in Saskatchewan, Canada.

“The application of carbon capture, use and storage may prove to be important to reducing the volume of greenhouse gas emitted by the steel sector in China and elsewhere. However investment in the technology is behind where it needs to be,” he said.

“China leads the way in the planning and development of large scale CCUS projects and should CCUS become commercially proven it could be a significant industry for China. We hope this research will draw more capital into the development of CCUS for use in steelmaking and broader industrial applications.”

Peking University President, Professor Lin Jianhua said the agreement with a trusted partner like BHP would fast-track the development of solutions to challenges faced by the country and the world.

“We recognise the importance of international collaboration in addressing the global challenge of climate change. This new project will push forward the collaborative work on many fronts, help support China’s carbon reduction, as well as promote friendship and cooperation between China and Australia,” he said.

Li Junfeng, Director General of China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation said the agreement would help meet the intensified greenhouse gas emissions control target adopted by the Paris Agreement last year.

“This target requires further research into the development potential and supporting factors of low carbon technologies such as CCUS and renewable energies, both of which can help promote China’s transition to a low carbon economy,” he said.