Rio Tinto issued a call in June for market proposals to develop large-scale wind and solar to power its aluminium assets in the Australian state of Queensland.
That call was promptly heeded, with Rio Tinto’s Australian chief executive, Kellie Parker, saying that the group had received proposals for “a lot more than the 4 GW.”
Rio Tinto appears to be keeping a check on expectations, though. “All of us understand that Australia remains an expensive location to build, so it won’t be easy,” she said in a speech to the Melbourne Mining Club last week, without providing an indication of costs.
The company is seeking to meet the energy needs of three of its Gladstone assets, including the Boyne smelter, the Yarwun alumina refinery, and the Queensland Alumina refinery.
“These assets require 1,140 MW of reliable power to operate, which equates to at least 4,000 MW of quality wind or solar power with firming,” Rio Tinto said in June.
Such a massive fit out would require much planning, and the company does not seem to have even decided on its renewable model yet. Parker said Rio Tinto has received proposals putting it in different roles, including project owner, operator, partner, investor and customer.
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