Tag Archives: Japan

Rio Tinto Japan joins GVC Network as part of carbon footprint reduction plan

Rio Tinto Japan has joined Japan’s Green Value Chain Platform Network (GVC Network), a collaboration established by the Ministry of the Environment to lead transparent decarbonisation efforts in the country.

Representative Director and Rio Tinto Japan President, Bill Horie, said: “We are honoured to be welcomed into the Ministry of Environment’s GVC Network and look forward to engaging on innovative approaches with customers, government and industry to help reduce Japan’s carbon footprint.”

Formed in 2018, GVC Network member companies work to set science-based targets for emissions reduction that are economically feasible and effective for the achievement of their Scope 1, 2 and 3 targets; and to share solutions related to renewable energy, energy conservation, or energy storage, Rio said.

Rio Tinto aims to reach net zero emissions across its operations by 2050. Its efforts to support decarbonisation through state-of-the-art solutions such as START Responsible Aluminium – a leading traceability program – aligns with the GVC Network intentions, the company added.

The GVC Network collaborates formally through networking and has 141 members representing a variety of industries including: electronics, machinery and equipment, automotive, airline, pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetics, building and construction, real estate, housing, printing, food and beverage, marine, retailing, publishing and logistics.

To help reach net zero emissions across its operations by 2050, Rio Tinto is targeting a reduction in emissions intensity by 30% and in its absolute emissions by 15%, both by 2030 and from 2018 levels. The company also plans to spend around $1 billion over five years on emissions reduction projects, research and development and activities to enhance the climate resilience of our business.

Rio Tinto has outlined a series of measurable and impactful Scope 3 emissions reduction goals to guide its approach, which features partnerships across China, Japan and South Korea – countries which account for 88% of the company’s value chain emissions (Scope 3).

The company has also committed that its growth over the next decade will be carbon neutral.

Kobe Steel demonstrates new, cleaner steel production technology

Kobe Steel says it has successfully demonstrated technology that can significantly reduce CO2 emissions from blast furnace operations, combining the technologies of Midrex in the engineering business and the blast furnace operation technology in the iron and steel business.

This achievement is a result of the integrated efforts of the Kobe Steel Group (also known as the KOBELCO Group) leveraging its diverse businesses, it said. The demonstration test was conducted for a month at a large blast furnace (4,844 cu.m) of the Kakogawa Works in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, in October 2020.

The quantity of CO2 emissions from the blast furnace is determined by the reducing agent rate (RAR), or the quantity of carbon fuel used in blast furnace ironmaking. In the demonstration test, it was verified that RAR could be stably reduced from 518 kg per tonne of hot metal (thm) to 415 kg/thm by charging a large amount of hot briquetted iron produced by the MIDREX® Process. The results indicate that this technology can reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 20% compared with the conventional method, the company said.

In addition, the world’s lowest level of coke rate (239 kg/thm) has been achieved in the demonstration test of this technology, the company claimed.

Kobe Steel sees this as a promising solution that could become readily available soon at a lower additional cost compared with other CO2-reduction measures.

The MIDREX Process uses natural gas as the reductant and pellets made of iron ore as the source of iron to make direct reduced iron through the reduction process in the shaft furnace. In comparison with the blast furnace method, the MIDREX Process can reduce CO2 emissions by 20-40%.

The company said: “We will keep improving this CO2-reduction solution technology while further reducing CO2 emissions and achieving lower costs for CO2 reduction. Beyond our own efforts to reduce emissions from our facilities, we will strive to contribute to the acceleration of CO2 reduction through introducing this solution to blast furnaces around the world.

“In addition, we believe that the success of the demonstration test on an actual blast furnace has made a significant step forward in providing low CO2 steel products to customers. As moving forward with our environmental efforts on the scale of the whole supply chain, we will establish production and sales systems and define the terms and conditions for sales so that we can provide customers with low CO2 steel products that offer new added value.”

Rio Tinto and Nippon Steel examine ways to decarbonise steel value chain

Rio Tinto and Nippon Steel Corp have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly explore, develop and demonstrate technologies to transition to a low-carbon emission steel value chain.

The two companies share a long history of working together, with the first shipment of iron ore from Australia to Japan coming from Rio’s Pilbara operations in 1966 and going to Yawata Works in Kitakyushu, now part of Nippon Steel.

With this MoU, Rio Tinto and Nippon Steel are looking to enhance this relationship by extending it into new areas in support of the shared goal of significantly reducing carbon emissions across the entire steel value chain, Rio said.

“Japan’s recent announcement of its commitment to realise a carbon-neutral society by 2050 has given Japanese companies even greater impetus to accelerate their decarbonisation activities,” the miner said. “The intent of this partnership is in line with Japan’s climate ambition.”

The purpose of this partnership is to explore a breadth of technologies for decarbonisation of the entire steel value chain from iron ore mining to steelmaking, including integrating Rio Tinto’s iron ore processing technology and Nippon Steel’s steelmaking technology to establish an innovative steel manufacturing process with low carbon emissions, according to Rio.

The partners have agreed on a partnership model in line with the long-term and complex nature of the transition to carbon neutrality for the steel industry. This model allows the partners to take a long-term view to enable the pursuit of new and promising technologies as the global steel transition evolves, Rio explained.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Jean-Sebastien Jacques, said: “One of Rio Tinto’s four pillars in addressing climate change is to partner with customers to reduce the carbon footprint across our value chain. Nippon Steel has been an important partner for our business with a very long history and we are delighted to be able to extend our partnership to work together to reduce carbon emissions across the steel value chain.”

Eiji Hashimoto, Representative Director and President of Nippon Steel Corporation, said: “To further advance toward realising our ambitious vision on decarbonisation, we began examining our CO2 reduction scenarios that had set goals for 2030 and 2050. Rio Tinto and our company have had a long and deep trusting relationship, and we are pleased to start this partnership on the basis of that trust. We are confident that it will be a powerful lever for our company to realise the ambitious vision of decarbonisation.”

Fortescue teams with Kawasaki and Iwatani on liquid hydrogen mission

Fortescue Metals Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Iwatani Corporation to develop a business model for the supply of liquid hydrogen into Japan.

Under the MoU, the three parties will establish the Global LH2 Consortium to facilitate collaboration for the establishment of large scale, liquid hydrogen production and supply capabilities, Fortescue says.

The consortium will focus on joint activities associated with the development of renewable hydrogen projects in Australia and overseas, with a view to establishing liquid hydrogen supply chains and the distribution and offtake of liquid hydrogen within Japan.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “The world’s transition to a clean energy future represents a major growth opportunity and this partnership with Kawasaki and Iwatani will help position Fortescue at the forefront of the establishment of a global renewable hydrogen industry.

“Japan has been identified as one of the priority north Asian markets for hydrogen exports. By leveraging our value chain and market access as well as the skills and capability of our people to rapidly develop complex projects, we believe Fortescue is well placed to meet the future demand of green hydrogen.”

Kawasaki Executive Officer, Dr Eiichi Harada, said: “Kawasaki is a world leader in the production, storage, shipping and handling of liquid hydrogen. In order to contribute to securing a stable energy supply and the preservation of the global environment, Kawasaki is excited to enter into a relationship and business partnership with Fortescue and Iwatani for the establishment of the Global LH2 Consortium.”

Iwatani Board Member, Manabu Tsuyoshi, said: “Iwatani is the number one hydrogen supplier and only liquefied hydrogen supplier in Japan. Since we started in the hydrogen business in 1941, we have built a nationwide hydrogen network from manufacturing to transportation, storage, supply and safety. In order to expand our hydrogen supply capabilities and to develop new business models, Iwatani is pleased to partner with Fortescue and Kawasaki to establish future global hydrogen supply chains.”

Kawasaki and Iwatani are also involved in the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project at Port Hastings, which is looking at the feasibility of turning brown coal from the Latrobe Valley, in Victoria, Australia, into hydrogen for liquefaction and export to Japan.