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Australia's largest solar farm to power BHP's Nickel West

Kitco News

Yesterday BHP announced that it signed a renewable power purchasing agreement to supply up to 50 per cent of its electricity needs at the Kwinana Refinery from Merredin Solar Farm – the largest in Western Australia.

BHP said that the agreement would help BHP reduce emissions from electricity use at the refinery by up to 50 per cent by 2024, based on FY2020 levels.

BHP Nickel West, Asset President, Eddy Haegel said: “This contract will further increase the sustainability of the nickel produced by Nickel West. It will reduce the refinery’s electricity emissions by 50 per cent, diversify our energy supply, and reduce the refinery’s electricity bill.

“Nickel is a future-facing commodity that is essential to creating the high performing lithium ion batteries used in battery electric vehicles (BEV). Consequently, the demand for nickel and especially the nickel produced by Nickel West is set to grow dramatically. The sustainable production of nickel is also essential to meet this future demand as the customers purchasing BEVs want to know that the inputs to the manufacturing of these vehicles are also sustainable.

“Nickel West is already one of the most sustainable nickel producers in the world but has committed to significantly reduce CO2 emissions further.

The agreement with Risen Energy is for ten years. The company estimated that it will revmove 364,000 tonnes of CO2e over the life of the contract.

BHP said this is the first renewable energy PPA signed by BHP in Western Australia and follows renewable agreements covering BHP’s operations in Queensland in 2020 and in Chile in 2019.

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