The federal government has announced $39 million in funding to an ambitious project linking researchers, miners and heavy industry aimed at decarbonising the sector.
The Heavy Industry Low-carbon Transition Cooperative Research Centre (HILT CRC) has also attracted $210 million in cash and kind contributions from universities and companies involved.
Leading business players include ADBRI cement, aluminium producer Alcoa, building products group Boral, industrial technology developer Calix, Fortescue, Grange resources, Liberty steel Roy Hill and South32.
Researchers are drawn from the University of Adelaide, the Australian National University, CSIRO, Curtin University, University of Newcastle, Swinburne University and the Queensland University of Technology.
According to the group: “HILT CRC will enable our heavy industry sector to compete in the low-carbon global economy for carbon-neutral materials such as ‘green’ iron, alumina, cement and other processed minerals.
“HILT CRC will focus on developing technologies and methods that overcome barriers to the low-carbon transition, which include the unacceptable risks of untested innovations that could jeopardise equipment, production and/or worker safety.”
Heavy industry is responsible for 20 per cent of Australian CO2 emissions.
Headquartered in Adelaide, HILT CRC will establish hubs in industrial centres including Gladstone, the Pilbara, Northern Tasmania, Upper Spencer Gulf, Kwinana and Portland in Victoria.
Calix managing director Phil Hodgson said bringing together industrial and mining companies would fast-track Australia’s low-carbon capabilities.
Hodgson said: “It is a chance for us to demonstrate the technology developed for CO2 mitigation in the production of cement and lime through our LEILAC-1 and 2 projects in an Australian setting.
“As well (we will) explore more sustainable applications for our technology in heavy industries, backed by this impressive team of researchers and participants.”
Calix and Adbri are already pursuing low-carbon lime production in Australia.
Picture: HILT CRC
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