BHP extends Southern Cross Energy contract at Nickel West


BHP Nickel West operations. Image: BHP

BHP has renewed its contract with Southern Cross Energy for 15 years to power the mining giant’s Nickel West operations in Western Australia’s Goldfields region.

This will see Southern Cross Energy supply electricity to the Nickel West operations until 2038, giving Nickel West access to all electricity produced by Southern Cross Energy.

The power purchase agreement will give Nickel West the ability to integrate renewable electricity generation, including solar and wind with energy storage technologies to meet its emission reduction targets.

This aids Nickel West in achieving its goal of delivering its customers lower carbon sustainable nickel.

Under the power purchase agreement, study phases are underway to introduce a renewable energy supply and carbon emissions reduction, including an 18.5-megawatt solar photovoltaic farm at Nickel West’s Leinster and Mount Keith operations supported by a battery energy storage system.

The company is also evaluating a 17-megawatt waste heat steam turbine system at the Kalgoorlie smelter, which will provide low-emissions electricity from furnace heat recovery.

These projects have the potential to reduce Nickel West’s scope 2 electricity greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15 per cent by 2023, based on 2020 levels.

“These projects contribute to the first phase of our emissions reduction strategy as we continue to evaluate plans for additional renewable energy supply to decarbonise our nickel operations,” Nickel West asset president Eduard Haegel said.

“We are at the beginning of an energy revolution that will transform our world and materially increase demand for nickel.

“BHP Nickel West is well placed to provide our nickel units sustainably and with one of the lowest carbon footprints.”

The sulphide nature of Nickel West’s deposits makes it one of the lowest carbon emitters in the industry, giving BHP a global advantage in sustainable nickel production.

BHP has committed to a science-based target of reducing its carbon emissions by 30 per cent from 2020 levels by 2023.

Its long-term target is for net-zero operational emissions by year 2050.

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