Tag Archives: Yarwun

Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Corp look at hydrogen pilot for Yarwun refinery

Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Corporation have announced a partnership to study the construction of a hydrogen pilot plant at Rio Tinto’s Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone, Australia, and explore the potential use of hydrogen at the refinery.

The two global companies have signed a letter of intent that focuses on Yarwun as the location for a Gladstone hydrogen plant that Sumitomo has been studying. If the project proceeds, the pilot plant would produce hydrogen for the recently announced Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem, Rio said.

The study supports the efforts of Australian, Queensland and local governments to establish Gladstone as a clean hydrogen hub of the future, according to the company.

Rio Tinto Australia Chief Executive, Kellie Parker, said: “Rio Tinto has a long relationship with Sumitomo and we are delighted to partner with them to explore the possibilities of hydrogen, not only for our own refinery, but for Sumitomo to supply industry more broadly in Gladstone.

“Reducing the carbon intensity of our alumina production will be key to meeting our 2030 and 2050 climate targets. There is clearly more work to be done, but partnerships and projects like this are an important part of helping us get there.”

Sumitomo Corporation’s Energy Innovation Initiative Director, Hajime Mori, said: “We are excited about working together with Rio Tinto as our long-term partner to develop this hydrogen project in Gladstone and working toward our company’s vision of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

“We believe the pilot plant will play a significant role in establishing the Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem.

“Sumitomo has commenced the Design Study and Preliminary Master Planning to build the Gladstone hydrogen ecosystem and we will continue to work towards future hydrogen exports from Gladstone.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Steven Miles, said Gladstone is an industrial powerhouse and this partnership presents a great opportunity for the region and for Queensland.

“This is only the beginning of a wave of international collaborations that will lead to new industries and new jobs underpinned by the supply of renewable energy,” Miles said.

“With the Palaszczuk Government’s strong commitment to creating more jobs in emerging industries, we will work to keep Queensland at the forefront of renewable hydrogen and the opportunities that come with it.”

The Sumitomo partnership complements a recently announced feasibility study into using hydrogen to replace natural gas in the alumina refining process at Yarwun and provides the potential for larger-scale implementation if the studies are successful, Rio added.

Alpha HPA signs reagent and offtake deal with Orica

The Board of Alpha HPA Limited has executed binding, definitive agreements with Orica Australia in respect of Alpha HPA’s First Project in Gladstone, Queensland.

The agreement relates to the supply of process reagents and the offtake of process by-product to/from Alpha HPA’s First Project and Orica’s Yarwun manufacturing facility within the Gladstone State Development Area in north Queensland.

The nature of the HPA First Project process is such that the use of reagents and the manufacture of by-product is highly complementary to the existing processes in operation at the Orica Yarwun facility, Alpha HPA says. The agreements secure the commitment from both Orica and Alpha to leverage the process synergies to unlock the value from both companies’ projects, it added.

The agreement comprises a Project Implementation Agreement, which describes the capital investment obligations of the parties and the scope for project commissioning and reagent and by-product validation trials. This includes the construction of the full-scale HPA First Project by Alpha HPA and, for Orica, the construction of the piping, tankage and process controls required to deliver reagents to, and receive by-product from the HPA First project.

The agreement confirms a 10-year initial term with an optional extension of 10 years by mutual agreement.

Alpha HPA’s First Project represents the commercialisation of the production of circa-10,000 t/y equivalent of high-purity alumina and related products using the company’s proprietary licensed solvent extraction and HPA refining technology. The technology provides for the extraction and purification of aluminium from an industrial feedstock to produce 4N (>99.99% purity) alumina for the intended use within the lithium-ion battery and LED lighting industry.

Rio Tinto’s debut Amrun bauxite shipment sets sail

Rio Tinto has completed the first shipment of bauxite from its Amrun mine in Queensland, Australia, six weeks ahead of schedule.

At a ceremony on the Western Cape York Peninsula in the far north of Queensland, more than 80,000 t of bauxite was loaded on to the RTM Weipa bound for Rio’s Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone.

The US$1.9 billion (A$2.6 billion) investment in Amrun is aimed at replacing production from the depleting East Weipa mine and increasing annual bauxite exports by around 10 Mt. Amrun is expected to reach a full production rate of 22.8 Mt/y during 2019.

Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said: “Bringing Amrun online further strengthens our position as a leading supplier in the seaborne market. We have the largest bauxite resources in the industry and are geographically well positioned to supply China’s significant future import needs, as well as supporting our refinery and smelting operations in Australia and New Zealand.”

The mining major was able to bring Amrun in ahead of schedule thanks, in part, to an innovation in design and fabrication of key infrastructure purpose-built for construction at Amrun’s remote location, according to Rio Tinto Growth & Innovation Group Executive Stephen McIntosh.

This included design and fabrication of the wharf on the Western Cape York Peninsula, which was constructed over water in essentially 13 pieces.

During construction, the Amrun development set a benchmark in supporting local and regional suppliers with US$1.6 billion invested with Australian companies, including $181 million with local Cape York companies, Rio said.