Santos has signed a new gas supply agreement with Rio Tinto. Under the agreement, Santos will supply up to 15 petajoules (PJs) of natural gas to Rio Tinto commencing in late 2021.
Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Gallagher, said Rio has been a long-term buyer of gas from Santos and they look forward to the strong partnership continuing.
“We have been supplying natural gas to Rio for many years. This new gas supply agreement underlines the importance of natural gas for Australian manufacturers and industry,” Mr Gallagher said.
He added: “Our disciplined, low-cost operating model has allowed us to manage the challenges of 2020, we are committed to continued investment in exploration and development of new domestic gas supplies in WA to meet the energy needs of local households and businesses for the long term.”
While Rio Tinto has made some investments in renewable energy, the miner’s mine sites are still partly powered by gas turbine plants in Western Australia’s North West.
At Gudai-Darri, Rio Tinto is installing a 34MW photovoltaic solar farm. This will consist of approximately 100,000 solar panels made up of photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity by allowing particles of light, or photons, to separate electrons from atoms, which in turn generates a flow of electricity. The electricity is managed through inverters that convert it to usable power.
In 2015, Rio Tinto signed up to the Paris Agreement. Three years later the company divested the last of its coal businesses. But the company’s biggest and most important climate change commitment is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Since 2010 Rio Tinto has reduced its carbon footprint by about 40 per cent – the extra 15 per cent reduction by 2030 will put the company on the pathway to be aligned with the Paris Agreement.
Since 2018, Rio Tinto has reduced its carbon footprint by 1-1.5 million, which is a 3 per cent reduction. The company currently emits 31.5 million tonnes of carbon every year, so the 15 per cent reduction equates to about five million tonnes of carbon between now and 2030.