Industry News

Rio Tinto to reduce steel industry emissions with $215M facility

Rio Tinto will invest $215 million into a new research and development facility in Western Australia in the Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area.

According to the State Government, this will position WA at the forefront of the global effort to reduce emissions in the steel industry.

Located in the Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area, the facility will trial Rio Tinto’s BioIron process which uses raw biomass such as wheat straw and canola stalks to turn Pilbara iron ore into metallic iron, creating a low-carbon iron for steelmaking.

The process eliminates the need of coking coal in the steelmaking process and could see up to a 95 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from steelmaking, the WA Government claims.

Rio Tinto first proved the effectiveness of the BioIron process in a small-scale plant in Germany.

The new Perth facility, however, will include a semi-industrial scale pilot plant that will be 10 times the size of its predecessor.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive Iron Ore, Simon Trott, emphasised the importance and potential significance the facility will play in achieving net zero and helping the steel industry in its decarbonisation journey.

“The world needs low-carbon steel to reach net zero, and we are working to make this a reality by finding better ways to turn our Pilbara ores into steel,” he said.

“BioIron is a world-first technology that has the potential to play a significant role in a low-carbon steel future.

“This research and development facility will further test the BioIron process, showcase Western Australian innovation capability, and further demonstrates Rio Tinto’s commitment to supporting and enabling the decarbonisation of the steel industry.”

The BioIron facility is also expected to create around 60 construction jobs and support about 30 full-time employees, assisting in the development of skills in low-carbon steelmaking.

“Our plan to turn WA into a renewable energy powerhouse opens up massive economic opportunities for the future, like producing low-emission steel right here at home,” said WA Premier Roger Cook.

“Processing iron ore in WA will create jobs, reduce the world’s carbon emissions and help to diversify and strengthen our economy for decades to come.

“This is another job-creating clean energy project in our industrial heartland of Kwinana and Rockingham, and part of our commitment to transitioning the industrial strip to a clean energy future.”

Fabrication of equipment for the facility is due to begin this year with commissioning expected in 2026.

In other news, the Queensland Government has announced that it will increase its annual Bruce Highway funding commitment to $250 million per annum from 2027-28 onwards.

The post Rio Tinto to reduce steel industry emissions with $215M facility appeared first on Trailer Magazine.

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