BHP, engineering firm Hatch to design electric smelting plant in Australia

FILE PHOTO: Small toy figure and mineral imitation are seen in front of the BHP logo in this illustration
A small figure and mineral imitation are seen in front of the BHP logo in this illustration taken November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

March 23 (Reuters) - BHP Group (BHP.AX) on Thursday signed an agreement with an engineering and project management firm Hatch to design an electric smelting furnace pilot plant in Australia in an attempt to slash its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

The facility will help lower carbon dioxide intensity in steel production using iron ore from the global miner's Pilbara mines. The plant will be able to produce steel from iron ore using renewable electricity and hydrogen replacing coking coal.

Large mining companies have been partnering with technology firms and others in the supply chain to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint and help reduce emissions in some of the most energy-intensive industries.

"The steel industry has identified ESF as a viable option to use a wider range of raw materials, and steel companies globally are looking to build commercial-scale ESF plants as part of their CO2 emission-reduction roadmaps," said Vandita Pant, chief commercial officer, BHP.

Last October, the mining giant teamed up with steelmaker ArcelorMittal (MT.LU) and two others to test a new technology to reduce carbon emissions in steelmaking at two plants in Belgium and North America.

Reporting by Navya Mittal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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