Teck transitions to renewables in Chile
One mine switched to renewable power, second in the works Metal Tech News – September 23, 2020
Last updated 10/6/2020 at 6:21pm
Taking a big step on its path to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd. has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with The AES Corp., a global power company that provides sustainable and affordable energy in 14 countries, for 100% renewable power for its Carmen de Andacollo copper and gold mine in Chile.
Under the arrangement, Teck's Carmen de Andacollo is sourcing 72 megawatts, or 550 gigawatt hours per year, of wind, solar and hydroelectric energy from Santiago-based AES Gener.
"We are honored to continue working together with Teck to help them progress towards their goal of carbon neutrality," said Andrés Gluski, AES Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer. "By providing Teck with innovative renewable energy solutions, AES Gener is helping build Chile's sustainable and reliable grid of the future."
The transition from fossil fuel power to renewable electricity at Carmen de Andacollo will eliminate 200,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, which equates to taking 40,000 passenger vehicles off the road.
"Teck is tackling the global challenge of climate change by reducing the carbon footprint of our operations and working towards our goal of becoming carbon neutral," said Teck Resources President and CEO Don Lindsay. "This agreement takes Teck a step closer to achieving our sustainability goals, while also ensuring a reliable, long-term clean power supply for CdA at a reduced cost to Teck."
Like all miners, the most significant sources of emissions across Teck's mines in Canada, Chile, Peru and the United States are from generating the massive amounts of electricity needed by these industrial operations and fueling the heavy equipment that excavate and transport the massive amounts of earth needed to extract the metals needed by modern society.
Teck's path to carbon neutrality includes investigating alternative ways of moving materials at its mines, using cleaner power sources, and implementing efficiency improvements.
The Canada-based diversified miner is looking into several ways to decarbonize these sources of greenhouse gas emissions and achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050:
• Increase procurement of electricity for operations from clean energy sources.
• Replace diesel haul trucks and other internal combustion heavy equipment with electric or low-carbon earthmoving machinery.
• Use electricity-powered conveyors to transport material at its mines.
• Use lower emission alternatives for stationary combustion processes such as the heat needed to dry steelmaking coal.
• Assess the potential for using emerging technologies such as carbon capture and storage.
• Work with industry partners to advance carbon reduction technologies for mining.
Teck has established milestone goals along its path to carbon neutrality by 2050.
This includes powering its two copper mines in Chile with 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
Toward this milestone, Teck entered into an agreement in February for AES Gener to deliver renewable power for the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 project, an extension of this Chilean copper mine that is currently under construction. Once effective, more than 50% of Quebrada Blanca Phase 2's operating power needs will be from renewable sources.
Coupled with the renewable power agreement for Carmen de Andacollo, which went into effect on Sept. 1, Teck is well on its way to reaching its 2030 carbon neutrality objectives in Chile.
"Switching to clean, renewable power for Carmen de Andacollo is another step forward in our ongoing commitment to responsible resource development across our operations and activities," said Teck Resources Vice President for South America Operations Alejandro Vásquez.
Further information on Teck Resources' commitment to reducing carbon emissions can be read at Teck commits to carbon neutrality by 2050 in the Feb. 5 edition of Metal Tech News.