BHP Billiton building remote operations centre in Brisbane
The company opened its first IRO...
Mining giants BHP Biliton is creating an integrated remote operations centre (IROC) for its coal business in Brisbane.
The company opened its first IROC in Perth in 2013 in a bid to increase its ‘real-time visibility across it’s Pilbara operations” to help grow its iron ore production.
The facility included innovative technology such as a mine fleet management system, train control and fixed plant control systems for mine and port operations, as well as CCTV and radio systems to communicate across remote sites.
At the time, BHP Billiton’s Iron Ore President Jimmy Wilson said the facility also included an innovative Production Visibility Tool which “gives an overview of the entire Western Australian Iron Ore network at a glance"
"This is a milestone in technology and innovation for Iron Ore and centralises control of our Pilbara-based mine, fixed plant, train and port operations in one location," BHP Billiton's Iron Ore President Jimmy Wilson said.
"For the first time we can see our total supply chain, in real-time and in one place, enabling us to proactively make the right decisions for the whole business."
The news of the new facility comes after BHP Billiton recently announced its path to improve returns in its coal business, “unlocking productivity, reducing costs and releasing latent capacity.”
BHP Billiton’s coal business has delivered over $3billion since 2012 and the company is now targeting another $600 million by the end of 2017.
Watch: BHP Billiton “join the Coal Integrated Remote Operations Centre team”
Rio Tinto and Alcoa begin construction with ELYSIS tech
Eliminating all direct greenhouse gases from aluminium smelting has taken a major step forward with the start of construction on the first commercial-scale prototype cells of ELYSIS’ inert anode technology, at Rio Tinto’s Alma smelter in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.
ELYSIS has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of aluminium production
ELYSIS is a joint venture company led by Rio Tinto and Alcoa that is developing a new breakthrough technology, known as inert anode, that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the traditional smelting process and instead produces oxygen.
The technology has the potential to transform the aluminium industry, with a significant reduction in its carbon footprint.
The inert anode prototype cells will operate on a commercial scale typical for large modern aluminium smelters, using an electrical current of 450 kiloamperes (kA).
The Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry joined representatives from ELYSIS, Rio Tinto and Alcoa to mark the start of construction and announce a further CAD $20mn financial contribution from the Government of Canada to support the project.
The federal government's financial support will enable the creation of a unique commercial size inert anode technology showroom for future customers and will help develop the supply chain by involving local and regional equipment manufacturers and suppliers in the project.
ELYSIS is working to complete the technology demonstration by 2024 followed by the commercialization activities.
ELYSIS technology at a glance:
- The ELYSIS technology addresses the global trend towards producing low carbon footprint products, from mobile phones to cars, planes and building materials.
- The new process will reduce operating costs ofaluminiumsmelters while increasing production capacity. It could be used in both new and existing aluminium smelters.
- In Canada alone, the ELYSIS technology has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 7 million tons, the equivalent of removing 1.8 million cars from the roads.
- ELYSIS will also sell next-generation anode and cathode materials, which will last more than 30 times longer than traditional components.
Alcoa and Rio Tinto will continue to support the ELYSIS development program alongside the Governments of Canada and Quebec.
ELYSIS is working closely with Alcoa's Technical Center, where the zero-carbon smelting technology was invented, and the Rio Tinto technology design team in France.
Alcoa's Technical Center supports ELYSIS in the manufacture of proprietary materials for the new anodes and cathodes that are essential to the ELYSIS process. The Rio Tinto technology team in France is creating commercial scale designs for the ELYSIS technology.
Vincent Christ, CEO, ELYSIS commented: “This is a great day for ELYSIS. It means that we are becoming the first technology company in the world to build commercial-size inert anode cells. While we refine the technology in our R&D Centre, we start the construction of our prototype cells. This shows our confidence in our process and in the know-how of our team. The combination of ELYSIS' zero CO2 technology and Quebec's renewable energy will be great competitive advantage for the future. I would like to thank the government for its support and all the partners for their commitment.”
Samir Cairae, Rio Tinto Aluminium managing director Atlantic Operations and ELYSIS board member added: “Today marks a real step towards the future of the aluminium industry, by progressing this breakthrough technology to cut carbon emissions. Rio Tinto is committed to supporting its ongoing development here in Quebec where we already use clean hydropower to deliver some of the world’s lowest carbon aluminium. Combining this technology with renewable hydropower holds the promise of zero carbon aluminium smelting.”