Rio Tinto and BlueScope will work together to explore low-carbon steelmaking pathways using Pilbara iron ores, including the use of clean hydrogen to replace coking coal at BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks.
The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to research and design low-emissions processes for the steel value chain, including iron ore processing, iron and steelmaking and related technologies.
Rio Tinto and BlueScope will prioritise studying the use of green hydrogen at the Port Kembla Steelworks in Australia to directly reduce Pilbara iron ores into a product that could then be processed in an electric melter to produce metallic iron suitable to be finished into steel.
The MOU expands the partnership between the two companies, who were already jointly studying technology to reduce carbon emissions from existing iron and steelmaking processes. It will also allow more projects to be added as technologies mature.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Simon Trott said “‘We are excited to sign this MOU with leading steelmaker BlueScope, a key customer of ours in Australia, and extend our partnership to low carbon iron and steelmaking.