Sailors SocietyBühler GmbHTelestackTMS Awards 2023Van AalstVigan
  • Geneva Dry
  • TBA Group
  • Sailors Society
  • Vigan
  • Bühler GmbH
  • TMS Awards 2023

Gladstone hydrogen pilot plant to trial lower-carbon alumina refining

Gladstone hydrogen pilot plant to trial lower-carbon alumina refining

(Posted on 14/07/23)

Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Corporation will build a first-of-a-kind hydrogen plant in Gladstone, Australia, as part of a A$111.1 million programme aimed at lowering carbon emissions from the alumina refining process.

The Yarwun Hydrogen Calcination Pilot Demonstration Programme received the green light after a A$32.1 million co-funding boost from the federal government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The program is aimed at demonstrating the viability of using hydrogen in the calcination process, where hydrated alumina is heated to temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius.

It involves construction of a hydrogen plant at the refinery and the retrofit of refinery processing equipment. If successful, the program could pave the way for adoption of the technology at scale globally.

Rio Tinto Aluminium Pacific Operations Managing Director Armando Torres said “This pilot plant is an important step in testing whether hydrogen can replace natural gas in Queensland alumina refineries.

“At Rio Tinto we have put the energy transition at the heart of our business strategy, and this is one of the ways we’re working towards decarbonising our operations.

“We are proud to be developing this new technology here in Gladstone, in partnership with Sumitomo Corporation, and with support from ARENA.”

The project will consist of construction of a 2.5MW on-site electrolyser to supply hydrogen to the Yarwun refinery and a retrofit of one of Yarwun’s four calciners so it can operate at times with a hydrogen burner.

The trial is expected to produce the equivalent of about 6,000 tonnes of alumina per year while reducing Yarwun’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 3,000 tonnes per year.

Converting the entire plant to green hydrogen could reduce emissions by 500,000 tonnes per year, which is the equivalent of taking about 109,000 internal combustion engine cars off the road.

Construction will start in 2024. The hydrogen plant and calciner are expected to be in operation by 2025.

Sumitomo Corporation will own and operate the electrolyser at Yarwun site and supply the hydrogen to Rio Tinto directly. The electrolyser will have a production capacity of more than 250 tonnes of hydrogen annually.

Sumitomo Corporation Energy Innovation Initiative Director, Seiji Kitajima said “We are excited to be delivering this hydrogen project together with Rio Tinto as our long-term partner with the support of ARENA.

“Demonstrating real-world applications of hydrogen in industrial settings with motivated partners is essential to reducing carbon emissions and working toward our company’s vision of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Through this demonstration, Sumitomo Corporation aims to venture into the commercialisation project to contribute to Rio Tinto’s decarbonisation.”

“Sumitomo Corporation is proud to be working on yet another hydrogen project in Australia and contributing to Australia’s own emission reductions goals.”

The pilot plant follows the success of a A$1.2 million feasibility study co-funded by Rio Tinto and ARENA that was announced in 2021.

Rio Tinto is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and has targets to reduce Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 50% by 2030 from 2018 levels.

Latest News

ADM report details regenerative agriculture and array of accomplishments

(Posted on 15/05/24)

ADM has released its 2023 Corporate Sustainability Report, highlighting an extensive array of accomplishments... Read more


British Steel wins contract for high-speed electric railway in Turkey

(Posted on 15/05/24)

British Steel has won a multi-million-pound contract to supply rail for a new high-speed electric railway... Read more


NGFA urges Canadian leaders to avoid rail strike

(Posted on 13/05/24)

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) in the USA and 19 other members of the Agricultural Transportation... Read more


ADM, Voltloader launch EV trial for wheat transportation

(Posted on 09/05/24)

ADM has announced a trial programme with Voltloader, an innovative logistics and transportation company... Read more


Electric Arc Furnace boost for British Steel

(Posted on 02/05/24)

British Steel has been granted planning permission to build an Electric Arc Furnace at its Scunthorpe... Read more


Leading event for grain handling and processing returns to Omaha

(Posted on 28/04/24)

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) in the USA, Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS... Read more


American Feed Industry commends vital supply chain legislation

(Posted on 23/04/24)

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has commended Representatives Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa-02... Read more


NGFA says NASS reports are critical to agribusiness operations

(Posted on 23/04/24)

In a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA... Read more


Bauxite and aluminium businesses deliver stable Rio Tinto results

(Posted on 18/04/24)

Bauxite production of 13.4 million tonnes was 11% higher than the first quarter of 2023 for Rio Tinto... Read more


Rio Tinto spends more than A$16.1 billion with Australian suppliers

(Posted on 15/04/24)

Rio Tinto increased its spend with suppliers and local businesses in Australia to more than A$16.1 billion... Read more


TBA GroupCimbriaPort of StocktonGeneva DryPort of South Louisiana
  • Telestack
  • Van Aalst

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest global news in bulk cargo handling and shipping