BHP launches Industry Knowledge Centre to cut carbon emissions from steel manufacturing

Image credit: BHP

Mining company BHP has collaborated with Monash University and steel manufacturer China Baowu to establish an Industry Knowledge Centre to accelerate the deployment of technology aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from steel production. 

The Industry Knowledge Centre seeks to facilitate real-world testing and assessment of CO2 abatement technologies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the blast furnace route for steel production. 

The centre will also enable the testing of various 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. 

Furthermore, the centre will also be tasked with reviewing funding applications from partner institutes in Australia, China, and beyond. 

BHP is investing USD 8 million (AUD 11.7 million) in funding to support the centre’s operations 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 will serve as the centre’s administrator through its existing Monash Suzhou Research Institute, which will administer the virtual collaboration of the Industry Knowledge Centre from their Australia and China campuses. 

“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,” said Prof. Aibing Yu, Monash University’s pro-vice-chancellor and president. 

Rod Dukino, vice president of BHP Sales & Marketing Sustainability, said the centre is an essential addition to the company’s portfolio mix of research and industry partnerships aimed at developing technologies to reduce CO2 emissions from steel production. 

“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,” Dukino said. 

The establishment of the centre follows an agreement signed by BHP and China Baowu in 2020, which progressed to preliminary studies with leading research and development institutes in 2022. 

“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,” said Mao Xiaoming, executive deputy director of China Baowu’s Low Carbon Metallurgy Innovation centre.