Rio Tinto to Focus on Clean Technology

Submitted by Jim Thesiger on 7 December, 2009 - 19:57

The global mining company Rio Tinto (RIO) has decided to pull itself out of a project involving carbon capture and storage in United Arab Emirates and considering investing in the clean technology in California. The miner made the announcement in a day when 192 member countries of the United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change are set to meet in Copenhagen to hold discussion regarding a successor to the Kyoto Protocol to combat climate change. It is to be mentioned that Carbon capture and storage, also known as CCS is considered as a probable solution for the global warming which involves stripping out carbon dioxide which is generated through fossil fuel burning, and injecting it into secure reservoirs located under the surface of under Earth.

In an attempt to make sure that the CCS technology is rolled out more broadly, many countries have committed considerable amount of funds with the US Energy Department making an announcement of awarding the project as much as $US979 million to support the CCS projects at three coal-fired power plants. Rio Tinto has stated today that the miner is committed to the necessity of taking steps for combating climate change and the establishment of CCS despite the company has sold 50 percent stake in Hydrogen Energy International to BP. BP and Rio established the Hydrogen Energy International in the year 2007 in an attempt to develop clean-energy projects worldwide.

According to the group executive, technology and innovation of Rio Tinto Preston Chiaro, the miner is more interested to concentrate on those projects that involve solid fuel feedstocks something that is more aligned with its other operations despite Abu Dhabi project being a very important project which is based on gas feedstock. Rio Tinto is currently giving more emphasize in CCS on the Hydrogen Energy California project in the United States where coal or petroleum coke will be used as feedstock.