World’s largest mining company, Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton, has great expectation from the electric vehicles market. Mining giant is optimistic that the demand of some if its products will be rapidly expanded with highest demand of electric vehicles in the worldwide market, and connected with that, other technologies using renewable energies.
BHP Billiton was created in 2001 through the merger of the Australian Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP) and the Anglo–Dutch Billiton plc. It operates a wide variety of mining, processing oil and gas production operations in over 25 countries, organized in four primary operational units referred to as Businesses of Coal, Copper, Iron ore and Petroleum.
Why the fossil fuels producer is optimistic about green technologies?
At the end of fiscal year 2015, the Australian giant, produced more than 256 million barrels of oil, 1.7 million tons (Mt) of copper, 233 Mt of iron ore, 43 Mt of metallurgical coal and 41 Mt of energy coal. They are participating at the Bloomberg’s “The Future of Energy Summit” in Shanghai.
Over the next 25 years, the world will invest $11.4 trillion in new power capacity, more than two-thirds of which will be in renewable energy. Asia remains the main driving force of global energy growth and the largest market for power generation equipment, but a recent slowdown in China and other leading economies has created challenges for energy suppliers and opportunities for energy consumers.
Speaking on the Opening Plenary: The long-term energy outlook, Dr Fiona Wild, BHP’s vice president sustainability and climate change said: “As you see more renewables and EVs, we also will see an impact on copper demand. EVs at the moment have about 80 kilograms of copper in them. As they become more efficient, you see a greater amount of copper in those vehicles, so there’s always upside for copper.”
In first five years of this decade between 2010 and 2015, one million EVs were sold out on the worldvide markets including most important of the US, China and Europe. According to the lost month BNEF report, by 2020, about 2.2 million EVs will be sold globally, up from 460,000 expected in 201. Biggest jump in next 25 years is expecting up between 20120 and 2040, when expected sales will reach around 40 million electric vehicles, which require a lot more copper wiring than standard internal combustion engines.
This is mainly the reason why miners are happy about rising sales of EVs. Currently, Copper is the poorest performer on the London Metal Exchange, with a gain of just 4 percent, compared with more than 54 percent for zinc. The metal is suffering amid a surge in supply this year, as demand slows in China.
Copper accounts for 27 percent of BHP’s commodity sales, second after iron ore at 34 percent, according to the company website.
“As a powerful offset to substitution, copper is superbly placed to benefit from expanded end use demand on the back of observed trends in technology, which we expect will become material from around the middle 2020s,” Vicky Binns, vice president, marketing minerals, wrote on BHP Billiton’s website on Oct. 31.
BHP Billiton has invested several hundreds of millions of dollars since 2007 in the research and development of technologies to reduce greenhouse gases, including carbon capture, it said in a report last year. The technology that would catch gases from fossil-fuel plants and could become commercially viable in the next 15 to 25 years depending on government policies, it said at the time.
The Paris climate accord negotiated last year, which seeks to limit temperature increases from pre-industrial levels to well below 2 degrees Celsius, is “more substantial and ambitious,” than expected, BHP said in a statement earlier this month. “People often think of energy challenges in terms of coal and oil and gas. But it’s much broader than that,” said Wild in the name of BHP.