At the end of March 2021, BHP had four major projects under development in petroleum, iron ore and potash, with a combined budget of US$8.5 billion over the life of the projects. Its major projects under development are tracking to plan.
In February 2021, BHP signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a large Japanese steel producer, JFE, to jointly study technologies and pathways capable of making material reductions to greenhouse gas emissions from the integrated steelmaking process. BHP has agreed to invest up to US$15 million over the five-year partnership.
In March 2021, BHP also signed a MOU with China’s HBIS Group Co., Ltd (HBIS), one of the world’s largest steelmakers and one of our major customers of iron ore, with the intention to invest up to US$15 million over three years to jointly study and explore greenhouse gas emissions reduction technologies and pathways.
The three-year partnership intends to collaborate on three priority areas: hydrogen-based direct reduction technology, the recycling and reuse of steelmaking slag, and the role of iron ore lump utilisation to help reduce emissions from ironmaking and steelmaking.
The partnerships with JFE and HBIS follow other investments to support the reduction of value chain emissions, including up to US$35 million for the collaboration with China’s largest steelmaker, China Baowu (November 2020), awarding its first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers contract (September 2020), with the aim to reduce emissions by 30 per cent per voyage and a successfully completed marine biofuel trial which enables them to develop an informed strategy on the structural supply and use of biofuels to support its key shipping routes (April 2021).
The advanced biofuel reduces CO2 emissions by 80 to 90 per cent well-to-exhaust compared with heavy fuel oil (HFO) and very-low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO), and uses sustainable waste and residue streams as feedstock.
In February 2021, BHP also executed a 10-year PPA contract with Merredin Solar Farm to supply up to 50 per cent of the Nickel West Kwinana Refinery electricity needs by 2024, based on 2020 financial year levels. This contract will further increase the sustainability of the nickel produced by Nickel West and will help to reduce emissions from electricity at the refinery by up to 50 per cent.