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Rio Tinto to Invest $143 Million to Develop BioIron R&D Facility in Western Australia

Rio Tinto to Invest $143 Million to Develop BioIron R&D Facility in Western Australia

Specifications:

Name:

Rio Tinto to Invest $143 Million to Develop BioIron R&D Facility in Western Australia

Location:

Australia

Company:

Rio Tinto

Estimated Cost:

$143 Million

Source:

https://www.riotinto.com/

Introduction:

Rio Tinto is set to invest US$143 million (A$215 million) to establish a research and development facility in Western Australia, aiming to further evaluate the effectiveness of its BioIron™ low-carbon ironmaking process. This initiative is a strategic move to support the decarbonization of the global steel industry.

Features:

The BioIron Research and Development Facility will be located in the Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area, south of Perth. This development follows the successful trials of the innovative ironmaking process in a small-scale pilot plant in Germany.

The new BioIron facility will feature a pilot plant that is ten times larger than its predecessor in Germany. It will mark the first time this cutting-edge steelmaking technology is tested on a semi-industrial scale, with the capability to produce one tonne of direct reduced iron per hour. This facility will gather essential data to evaluate the potential for scaling up the technology to a larger demonstration plant.

The plant's design is the result of a collaboration between the University of Nottingham, Metso Corporation, and Western Australian engineering firm Sedgman Onyx. Equipment fabrication is scheduled to commence this year, with commissioning anticipated in 2026. The construction phase is expected to create up to 60 jobs.

Once operational, the research and development facility will employ around 30 full-time staff and include provisions for equipment testing, essential for the further development of the BioIron technology. It will also help cultivate a workforce skilled in steel decarbonization and foster partnerships with universities and research organizations in Western Australia.