September 26, 2023
Heavy Industries

Australia Spearheads Global Low-Carbon Transition with Launch of HILT CRC: Aims to Unlock $250 Billion Investment by 2050

Australia’s leading position in the drive for a low-carbon future has been further solidified with the launch of the Heavy Industry Low-Carbon Transition Cooperative Research Centre (HILT CRC). Dr Paul Heithersay, Department of Energy and Mining Chief Executive, officially introduced the national group this week, highlighting South Australia’s instrumental role in driving investment in a sustainable future.

Key industry players, including GFG Alliance, which operates the Whyalla steelworks, have signed up as partners. The HILT CRC also boasts partnerships with businesses from the Pilbara in Western Australia, northern Tasmania, and Gladstone in Queensland.

“Australia is spearheading the research and development of innovative technologies and practices that will lead and expand low-carbon economies worldwide,” Dr Heithersay commented.

The HILT CRC is focused on three heavy industry sectors – alumina, iron and steel, and cement and lime – with the goal of reducing carbon emissions. The Centre’s research aims to address a crucial global issue: that industry generates 32% of global emissions, three-quarters of which is from fossil fuel heat generation. Their pioneering low-carbon technologies are targeted at meeting Australia’s commitments to the United Nations Paris Agreement and National Hydrogen Strategy.

Felicity Lloyd, the Centre’s CEO, emphasised the urgency of transitioning to carbon-neutral economies. She highlighted the vital role of Australian researchers and industry players in expediting the development of new heavy industry technologies to reduce emissions.

The HILT CRC, with its 48 partners across research and industry sectors, aims to develop solutions that will not only lower emissions but also enable growth in core Australian industries such as steel, aluminium, and cement.

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GFG Alliance’s general manager, Wayne Harris, expressed his excitement to be a part of the HILT CRC. He pointed out that the partnership aligns with the company’s aspirations for green steel and the provision of hydrogen to decarbonise heavy industry.

By driving world-leading research and commercialising decarbonisation technologies, the Centre’s goal is to lead to net-zero production and potentially unlock $250 billion investment in new projects by 2050.

Furthermore, the Centre anticipates that its work could increase industry competitiveness, generating more than 370,000 new direct and indirect jobs in the sector, according to Professor Graham Nathan, the Centre’s Research Director. Nathan further praised the Centre’s ability to implement problem-solving research swiftly through industry partners, focusing research on the practical challenges companies face.

The Centre’s partnerships extend beyond Australia, with affiliations established with universities and government agencies in Germany, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Canada.