Rio Tinto to switch to renewables in decarbonisation drive

Source: Rio Tinto

October 21 (Renewables Now) - Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto Plc (LON:RIO) is taking actions to reduce its emissions, including a large-scale switch to renewables.

The company said it plans to invest USD 7.5 billion (EUR 6.5bn) in decarbonisation between 2022 and 2030, with a focus on renewable power for iron ore in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and for the Australian aluminium smelters.

In the Pilbara, Rio Tinto will target the quick deployment of 1 GW of wind and solar power to replace natural gas power for plant and infrastructure and for early electrification of mining equipment. The company said that full electrification of its Pilbara system, including all trucks, mobile equipment and rail operations, will require additional gigawatt-scale renewables and advances in fleet technologies.

The miner is also progressing renewable power options for the Boyne Island and Tomago smelters in Australia, which are estimated to require around 5 GW of solar and wind power, on equity basis, together with a firming solution.

Rio Tinto has set more ambitious emissions reduction goals. It will now aim to cut its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 15% by 2025 and by 50% by 2030.

The company plans to accelerate its investment in research and development (R&D) technologies to help its customers decarbonise. It will continue to develop technologies for carbon-free aluminium and routes to produce green steel in partnership with governments, suppliers, customers and academia.

In addition, Rio Tinto intends to prioritise growth capital in commodities key to the global transition to net zero.

The steps were outlined in an investor presentation on Wednesday.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.860)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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