Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto Group has agreed to supply German automaker BMW AG with low-carbon aluminium this week.
Rio Tinto will be supplying BMW’s production plant in South Carolina with ELYSIS carbon-free primary aluminium from Canada under the agreement. Rio Tinto’s carbon-free aluminium is produced using a process in which no carbon is emitted. Rather, ELYSIS technology produces primary aluminium and pure oxygen.
In addition, the agreement will have the parties do the groundwork for deploying the START system, which is Rio Tinto’s system for supply chain traceability. START supplies customers and consumers with the aluminium’s source and adherence to ESG standards along the production chain.
Rio Tinto Chief Commercial Officer Alf Barrios said in a press release that his firm is uniquely qualified to provide low-carbon aluminium solutions.
“Rio Tinto’s world-leading position in responsible aluminium production means we can offer innovative solutions to our customers on their decarbonisation journey toward net zero. As global demand for responsibly sourced materials continues to grow, automakers are increasingly looking to partner with suppliers who share their commitment to traceability and sustainability. Rio Tinto is proud to play a role in helping to drive a greener future in the premium car industry through this partnership with the BMW Group and we look forward to deepening our ties with the automotive industry in the years ahead.”
BMW AG board member Joachim Post, said that the new agreement meets several of his firm’s goals.
“We have clear goals for lowering CO2 emissions in the supply chain. By using innovative materials, we can reduce our vehicles’ carbon footprint – even before handing them over to customers. The agreement to supply low-carbon aluminium is based on several pillars: in addition to hydroelectric power and secondary material, we also want to lead the automotive industry by ramping up our use of aluminium with no direct CO2 emissions from the smelting process.”
The supply agreement will commence with the first shipment, which is scheduled sometime next year.