BHP to halve Nickel West emissions

BHP's Nickel West operation

BHP Nickel West operations. Image: BHP

BHP has signed a renewable power purchase agreement with Risen Energy to slash emissions at the Nickel West Kwinana refinery in Western Australia by up to 50 per cent.

The agreement is targeted to reduce emissions from the Kwinana refinery’s electricity consumption by 2024.

The 10-year agreement will see half of Kwinana refinery’s energy sourced from Merredin solar farm, which is Western Australia’s largest solar farm.

The solar power will displace an estimated 364,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent – the same amount as removing 11,200 combustion engine cars from Western Australia’s roads each year over the duration of the contract life.

This marks BHP’s first renewable energy purchase agreement in Western Australia and follows those that have been agreed on for the company’s Queensland and Chile operations.

BHP Nickel West asset president Eddy Haegel said the contract with Risen Energy would further increase the sustainability of the company’s nickel.

“Nickel West is already one of the most sustainable nickel producers in the world but has committed to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions further,” Haegel said.

“This contract, combined with our high quality nickel deposits and our integrated value chain further improves our position as one of the lowest carbon nickel miners in the world.

“It will reduce the refinery’s electricity emissions by 50 per cent, diversify our energy supply and reduce the refinery’s electricity bill.”

Risen Energy Australia general manager John Zhong said the company was pleased to add another clean energy partnership with a key Western Australian industry to its portfolio.

“We are proud to sign this agreement with BHP Nickel West. (It) will bolster current and future Western Australian renewable projects,” Zhong said.

Due to the growing demand for nickel for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, BHP anticipates Nickel West’s production to rise dramatically in coming years.

“The sustainable production of nickel is essential to meet this future demand as the customers purchasing battery electric vehicles want to know that the inputs to manufacturing of these vehicles are also sustainable,” Haegel said.

BHP Nickel West’s renewable power purchase agreement will contribute to its company-wide goal to reduce scope one and two emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

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