Australian iron ore giant BHP has signed a memorandum of understanding with leading Japanese steel producer, JFE Steel, to jointly study technologies and pathways capable of making material reductions to greenhouse gas emissions from the integrated steelmaking process. BHP is prepared to invest up to US$15 million over the five year partnership, which builds on the strong history of technical research and collaboration between the two companies. BHP’s investment will be funded under its USD 400 million Climate Investment Program, set up in 2019 to coordinate and prioritise projects, partnerships, R&D and venture investments to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, invest in offsets and support development of technologies with the highest potential to impact change.
The JFE-BHP partnership will focus on the role of Australian raw materials to help to increase efficiency and reduce emissions from the blast furnace and direct reduced iron steel making routes. The partnership intends to study the properties of raw materials, with focus on specific areas such as iron ore pre-treatment, use of enhanced iron ore lump, high quality coke and DRI, required to decrease iron and steelmaking emissions and support a transition to a low carbon future. Throughout the collaboration the two companies will also share knowledge on reducing carbon emissions across the steel value chain.
This JFE-BHP partnership follows other BHP investments to support the reduction of value chain emissions, including up to USD 35 million for the collaboration with China’s largest steelmaker, China Baowu, and awarding BHP’s first LNG fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers contract, with the aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% per voyage.