BHP Billiton and Peking University to accelerate CCUS research

BHP Billiton and Peking University (PKU) have announced a $7.37 million agreement to unlock the potential of carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) for steel production in China.

Together with other leading organisations, the three-year agreement will identify the key policy, technical and economic barriers to CCUS deployment in the industrial sector, with a particular focus on the iron and steel industries.

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Mackenzie, said the program is part of the company’s support for the development of low emissions technology across multiple sectors. “The application of carbon capture, use and storage may prove to be important to reducing the volume of greenhouse gas emitted by the steel sector in China and elsewhere. However investment in the technology is behind where it needs to be.

“China leads the way in the planning and development of large scale CCUS projects and should CCUS become commercially proven it could be a significant industry for China. We hope this research will draw more capital into the development of CCUS for use in steelmaking and broader industrial applications.

“Policies are also needed to support the deployment and growth of CCUS. Certainty in areas such as carbon storage and transport regulations are examples that could further the investment case in China.

“As a major metallurgical coal and iron ore supplier, BHP Billiton has a role in working with our customers, industry and research institutions in China. The work to be undertaken through this agreement is a necessary first step to get the fundamentals right and accelerate CCUS development and deployment.”

President of Peking University, Professor Lin Jianhua, spoke highly of the partnership as PKU’s latest example in seeking solutions to challenges faced by the country and the world. “We recognise the importance of international collaboration in addressing the global challenge of climate change. This new project will push forward the collaborative work on many fronts, help support China’s carbon reduction, as well as promote friendship and cooperation between China and Australia.”

Director General of China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, Li Junfeng, also attended the signing ceremony. “Last year, the Paris Agreement opened a new chapter in the global response to climate change, putting forward an intensified greenhouse gas emissions control target,” he said.

“This target requires further research into the development potential and supporting factors of low carbon technologies such as CCUS and renewable energies, both of which can help promote China’s transition to a low carbon economy.”

This agreement builds on the BHP Billiton SaskPower Carbon Capture Knowledge Centre established in February 2016 to share learnings on CCS for the power sector from the Boundary Dam project in Saskatchewan, Canada.