Tag Archives: Edgar Basto

BHP to cut Queensland coal operation emissions with CleanCo deal

BHP has signed an agreement that could help it reduce emissions from electricity use in its Queensland, Australia, coal operations by 50% by 2025.

The renewable power purchasing agreement to meet half of its electricity needs across its Queensland coal mines from low emissions sources, including solar and wind, is with Queensland’s state-owned clean energy generator and retailer CleanCo, which has a target to support 1,000 MW of new renewable energy generation by 2025. The pact will run for five years from January 1, 2021.

“This will effectively displace an estimated 1.7 Mt of CO2e between 2021 and 2025 – equivalent to the annual emissions of around 400,000 combustion engine cars,” the company said.

BHP owns 50% of the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (Mitsubishi holding the other 50%), which operates several coal mines across Queensland.

The agreement is the first of its kind signed by BHP in Australia and follows the company’s shift to 100% renewables in its Chile operations at Escondida and Spence from the mid-2020s. It will also support the development of new solar and wind farms in Queensland – the Western Downs Green Power Hub, due for completion in late 2022, and Karara Wind Farm, due for completion in early 2023.

BHP’s President Minerals Australia, Edgar Basto, said: “This is an important step forward in BHP’s transition to more sustainable energy use across our portfolio, and a first for our Australian operations. It will diversify our energy supply, help to reduce our energy costs, and reduce BHP’s Australian Scope 2 emissions by 20% from FY2020 levels.”

He added: “This is a prime example of prudent business decisions going hand-in-hand with social value, strengthening our business and benefitting the community.”

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), Asset President, James Palmer, said: “This contract will help our operations across Queensland to further increase their sustainability through reducing the greenhouse gas emissions we generate from electricity use by half. It will also support two greenfield renewable projects that, in turn, are expected to generate regional jobs in Queensland.”

Over the five-year agreement, power will be provided via the grid, and predominantly contracted from a combination of solar, wind, hydro and gas generation, according to BHP.

For the first two years, power will be contracted from CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio which includes hydro and gas generation assets. From late 2022, the newly operational solar and wind farms are expected to progressively contribute up to half the electricity requirements, with the remainder supported by CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio. Combined with large-scale generation certificates, this will enable BHP to reduce Scope 2 emissions from its Queensland operations by 50% by 2025, based on the company’s 2020 financial year levels.

The contract will contribute to BHP’s medium-term, science-based target for the reduction of Scope 1 and Scope 2 operational greenhouse gas emissions – due to be announced shortly.

BHP to bolster Australia workforce with new short-term hires

BHP says it is to hire 1,500 additional people to support its workforce operating across Australia.

The 1,500 jobs will be offered as six-month contracts and cover a range of skills needed by BHP operations in the short term, it said. These jobs will support and bolster its existing workforce during a difficult time when the COVID-19 virus continues to spread.

Yesterday, the company said it was accelerating payment of outstanding invoices and the reduction of payment terms for its small business partners and regional communities in Australia in response to the outbreak.

The roles will include machinery and production operators, truck and ancillary equipment drivers, excavator operators, diesel mechanics boilermakers, trades assistants, electricians, cleaners and warehousing roles across BHP’s coal, iron ore and copper operations in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. The jobs will be offered through existing labour hire partners and BHP contracts in each state, it said.

Following the initial six-month contract, BHP will look to offer permanent roles for some of these jobs. BHP will continue to assess this program and may increase the number of jobs available, it added.

BHP Acting Minerals Australia President, Edgar Basto, said supporting the company’s employees, communities and partners, safely, is the highest priority.

“As part of BHP’s social distancing measures we are introducing more small teams with critical skills to work dynamically across different shifts,” he said.

“The government has said that resources industry is vital in Australia’s response to the global pandemic. We are stepping up and providing jobs and contracts. Our suppliers, large and small, play a critical role in supporting our operations. It is a tough time for our communities and the economy. We must look out for each other as we manage through this together.”