BHP has announced a US$6 million equity investment in Carbon Engineering (CE), a Canadian-based company leading the development of Direct Air Capture, an innovative technology which has the potential to deliver large-scale negative emissions by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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BHP on the road to combating CO2 emissions

According to BHP’s Vice President, Sustainability and Climate Change, Dr Fiona Wild, the company is committed to accelerating the global response to climate change by investing in emerging technologies that have the potential to lead to material reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

“As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated in late 2018, if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change, technologies that capture and remove CO2 will be required,” said Dr Wild.

“Direct Air Capture offers flexibility and potential, and could play a vital role in reducing future global emissions. We hope that this investment can accelerate the development and adoption of this technology.”

The investment will see BHP obtain a share of the company.

CE’s CEO, Steve Oldham, welcomed BHP’s investment, stating that the company focused on commercialising technologies that can play a critical role in addressing climate change.

“BHP’s global reach and experience in executing complex projects, as well as their strategic commitment to reducing emissions, make them an ideal partner to help us accelerate the commercialisation and use of CE’s technologies,” commented Mr Oldham.

“We’re looking forward to working with BHP and our other partners as we progress the development of DAC and AIR TO FUELS™ facilities, and ultimately achieve our goal of delivering affordable, carbon-neutral fuels and significant emissions reductions around the globe.”

BHP believes that investment in emerging technologies to reduce emissions is just one part of addressing climate change.

“At BHP, we also set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for our operations, we build the resilience of our operations and communities to the physical impacts of climate change and we work in partnership with our resource sector peers to improve sectoral performance,” said Dr Wild.

Dr Wild said the investment in CE complements BHP’s existing efforts to accelerate the development of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) at point sources of CO2 emissions, such as in steel making and power generation.

“Government support for technologies that capture carbon has been important. Mobilising private capital and supporting market mechanisms to finance technologies that address global emissions, however, will be critical if we are to build a net-zero emissions economy. This investment is a good example of the role that the private sector can play in bringing such technologies to market,” concluded Dr Wild.

DAC is a technology that captures CO2 from atmospheric air, and provides it in a purified form for use or storage. Carbon Engineering’s DAC technology does this in a closed loop where the only major inputs are water and energy, and the output is a stream of pure, compressed CO2. This captured, compressed CO2 then offers a range of opportunities to create products and environmental benefits, including production of clean-burning liquid fuels with ultra-low carbon intensity.

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