The Australian Government has awarded $39 million to the Heavy Industry Low-carbon transition Cooperative Research Centre (HILT CRC) to assist major mining companies in reducing emissions.
The funding will be delivered over a 10-year period alongside $175 million of investment from the HILT CRC’s 57 partners.
The investment pool will fund research into technology-driven solutions for a low-carbon industry transformation.
HILT CRC, led by the University of Adelaide, includes core partners such as Fortescue Metals Group, Roy Hill, and South32.
Key partners also include Calix, Worley and Swinburne University, with a range of technology companies, research parties and mining companies making up the rest.
Rio Tinto is also an affiliate partner with the HILT CRC.
Director of the Centre for Energy Technology Gus Nathan, who led the successful bid for the HILT CRC, said turning key materials into low-carbon options was a global imperative.
“Heavy industry produces materials such as steel, aluminium and cement, which are vital to the national and global economy,” Nathan said.
“It is critical to the global economy and job markets because it produces things that we all need, while also supporting the countless industries and businesses that depend on it.
And while hundreds of millions of dollars will need to be pumped into a low-carbon transition, Nathan advocated for the economic prosperity which can be achieved through its success.
“While tackling its contribution to the planet’s climate change is a challenge, it is also an economic opportunity because of the growing demand for new, higher value, green products,” Nathan said.
“This is why the transition of heavy industry to net-zero carbon emissions is such an essential and important next step in Australia’s path toward a sustainable future.”
The CRC will work collaboratively with industry in heavy industrial hubs around Australia, including the Pilbara, northern Tasmania, South Australia’s Upper Spencer Gulf, the Kwinana and south west regions of Western Australia, New South Wales’ southern highlands and Victoria’s Portland region.
Technology lead at South32 David Cochrane said being a part of HILT CRC was integral to his company’s ambitions for the future.
“The HILT CRC will play an important role in transitioning to a low-carbon future by creating a framework for industry to collaborate, sharing knowledge and experience while lowering the risk of trialling technology,” Cochrane said.
“For South32, we have recently set medium term targets to halve our operational emissions by 2035 as we transition to net zero by 2050 and initiatives like the HILT CRC are part of our plan to achieve these targets.”