August 26, 2020

BHP: Partnering to accelerate decarbonisation using green hydrogen in heavy industry and mining.

BHP is a founding member of the Green Hydrogen Consortium (GHC), a collaboration which is looking at ways to collectively eliminate the obstacles to the adoption of green hydrogen technologies and encourage innovative application in heavy industry including mining and resources

Achievements

  • Consortium established that brings together four companies (BHP, Fortescue, Anglo American, and Hatch) who have all committed to reducing operational greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Each company has proposed an onsite green hydrogen trial.

Case Study Type

  • Net zero emissions
  • Property resilience to address the challenge of climate change
Case Study Image

Problem Being Solved

BHP has set targets to reduce greenhouse gases, including a long-term goal of achieving net-zero emissions from its operations in the latter half of this century.

BHP’s exploration of green hydrogen is part of its broader low emissions technology strategy and is one of several zero emission material movement options the company is exploring. Green hydrogen has the potential to address some of the more challenging areas of emissions reduction: industrial processing, in which hydrogen is used for its chemical properties, not its energy content and process heat.

While governments and hydrogen industry participants have long advocated for the use of hydrogen as an alternative to conventional carbon-based fuels, there has been a lack of commercial and technical readiness for production of green hydrogen and its application in the resources and mineral processing industries.

Solution

BHP’s work on green hydrogen to date led to the conclusion that industry collaboration is a cost- and time-effective way to accelerate our understanding about how green hydrogen could play a role in operational decarbonisation.

The member companies of the Consortium are technology agnostic and are considering a range of options to progress decarbonisation of their operational greenhouse gas emissions. Given the range of applications for green hydrogen and the cost challenges associated with it, the Consortium was formed to work together to seek to de-risk its application and enable acceleration of cost reductions.

Some of the proposed activities include undertaking research, technology and supply chain development, and piloting green hydrogen technologies to seek to de-risk and accelerate the technologies.

Outcomes

BHP is currently reviewing the feasibility of onsite green hydrogen production and use for one of its operations in Australia as a potential solution for hard to abate industrial processing and heat emissions, as well as niche diesel displacement.

Ultimately, green hydrogen also has the potential to have a role more broadly in the decarbonisation of BHP’s value chain and the emissions associated with the use of their products and in their supply chains (Scope 3 GHG emissions). The variety of case studies explored by each consortium member is what makes its strength: each successful pilot project avoids duplicate investment and could lead to much faster commercial implementation of green hydrogen for all members — and the rest of the industry – enabling a faster transition to reducing emissions.

The collaboration will encourage meaningful engagement to move green hydrogen technology forward and enable its commercialisation. It’s the link between industry, research and government.




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