Rio Tinto Invest in Carbon Capture and Storage and Hydrogen Energy

Rio Tinto said today that it will be focussing the majority of its investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology on the Hydrogen Energy California (HECA) project, a proposed new hydrogen-powered electricity facility that will capture and store most of its carbon related emissions to produce clean electricity.

Preston Chiaro, group executive, Technology & Innovation, said that the California project is an excellent strategic fit for Rio Tinto as it will use coal or petcoke as a feedstock.

“We look forward to continuing to work with our partner BP, the US Department of Energy and other key stakeholders to deliver the California project, which we regard as a critical project in the development of CCS technology,” he said.

Rio Tinto’s decision to focus on HECA has necessitated a restructure of the broader Hydrogen Energy joint venture with BP. Rio Tinto said that it had sold its 50 per cent interest in Hydrogen Energy International Ltd (HEIL), which owns an interest in the Hydrogen Power Abu Dhabi (HPAD) project, to BP for an undisclosed sum.

“The Abu Dhabi project is a ground-breaking and important project based on gas feedstock, but Rio Tinto prefers to focus on projects with solid fuel feedstocks, which are better aligned with our other businesses,” Mr Chiaro said. “We wish BP and Masdar (the joint venture partner in the project) well and continued success with the project.”

Mr Chiaro added: “Rio Tinto is committed to the development of CCS and the need for action on climate change, and it supports a strong binding international agreement on climate change that will address both the environmental challenge, as well as provide greater certainty for investment decisions.”

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