ENGIE Impact sets Vale New Caledonia on a zero carbon roadmap

ENGIE Impact recently announced the completion of its Zero Carbon Roadmap for Vale New Caledonia to reach its zero carbon targets and stay ahead of regional competition during its sustainability transformation.

Vale New Caledonia produces nickel predominantly intended for the battery industry. “With increasing competition in the APAC region, Vale New Caledonia is doubling down on its sustainability efforts to make it a key point of differentiation. Vale New Caledonia has recognised that to ensure an end-to-end carbon free product, the whole value chain of electric vehicles must be decarbonised.”

Historic and long-standing energy partner, ENGIE, is working to identify additional decarbonisation levers and to address Vale New Caledonia’s CO2 emissions. Consulting arm of ENGIE, ENGIE Impact, is providing a holistic overview of energy systems and decarbonisation roadmaps, as well as the local knowledge and presence.

“Vale New Caledonia is committed to sustainable development and studying a zero carbon solution was a logical step to further drive both our mission to care for the environment and also further establish our standing and competitive strength in the APAC region. Working with ENGIE we knew that we would be able to establish how to best innovate our plant to not only reach our intended goal but to also do so competitively. We are looking forward to now starting on this road to zero carbon and to offer a truly differentiated and sustainable offering for the growing battery industry,” commented Sylvain David, Energy Transition Manager, Vale New Caledonia.

As part of the partnership, ENGIE Impact conducted a concept study to provide insight into the different pathways for Vale New Caledonia to realise its zero carbon objective, weighing up the possible trade-offs between energy and carbon savings, capital and operational expenditures and return on investment. Leveraging the expertise across ENGIE in renewable energy, energy storage, renewable hydrogen, zero carbon mobility, and decarbonisation business case creation, the concept study resulted in a zero carbon roadmap for Vale New Caledonia.

With a clear strategy and an actionable set of required investments, Vale New Caledonia has a trajectory to transition to a zero carbon nickel and cobalt mining operation within less than two decades, even considering the expected increase in energy consumption. This allows Vale New Caledonia to differentiate its products from non-decarbonised competitors, having a significant carbon footprint associated with it.

“Vale New Caledonia is setting high standards for the industry, highlighting the need for mining players to push forward with sustainability goals to stay ahead of the curve in an increasingly competitive market. By putting sustainability at the top of its agenda, Vale New Caledonia isn’t just patching over its current challenges but looking at the long-term strategy and future-proofing its business,” said Malavika Bambawale, Managing Director, Head of APAC, Sustainability Solutions, ENGIE Impact.

Ownership change is also on the cards again for Vale New Caledonia after a deal with New Century Resources fell through in September. Vale subsidiary Vale Canada Ltd (VCL) on November 5 entered into exclusivity for 30 days with a consortium to negotiate the sale of its ownership interest in Vale New Caledonia (Vale Nouvelle-Calédonie SAS or VNC). The consortium led by current Vale New Caledonia management and employees is supported by both the New Caledonian and the French governments and has Trafigura as a minority shareholder. The negotiations include finalising outstanding requirements to support the transition and continuity of VNC operations from VCL to the new ownership structure. Any transaction for the acquisition of VNC would be subject to the prior consultation of the VNC works council and customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.