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BHP bullish on China's new urbanization drive

By Zheng Xin | | Updated: 2021-03-21 09:32
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FILE PHOTO: A BHP Billiton sign is visible behind a pile of iron ore at the company's loading facility in Port Hedland, Australia, on May 30, 2008. [Photo/Agencies]

As Chinese cities transition to high-quality urbanization, they will require more future-facing resources, including copper and nickel, for electrification and energy storage, which are central to BHP's strategy and future portfolio, said Mike Henry, BHP CEO during the China Development Forum 2021 on Saturday.

Commodities, including iron ore and metallurgical coal, will also fuel the steel production needed to build new urban infrastructure, renewable energy systems and used in advanced manufacturing, he said.

By 2050, China's urbanization rate will reach 80 percent and the country will pivot into a high-income society.

"It will not be easy to advance economic growth at the same pace while protecting the environment, but China has the capability to make this a reality," said Henry.

Conducting business with China for 130 years, BHP said China has become the most important partner, the largest market, as well as an increasingly significant supplier of goods and services to the company.

"We are proud that BHP and the commodities we produce have played a part in China's growth and urbanization drive over the past four decades and there is more opportunity on the horizon as China continues to grow its significance and leadership in the global economy," said Henry.

To support China's commitment to sustainable urbanization, BHP has partnered with the Development Research Centre of the State Council to undertake research on China's urbanization to 2050.

BHP has joined hands with China BaoWu and HBIS to invest in low emission technologies to reduce emissions in steel making, which will be made available to the broader market to collectively improve the global carbon footprint.

It has also partnered with Automotive Data of China Co, a subsidiary of China Automotive Technology and Research Center, to better understand the infrastructure required as electric vehicles become more prevalent. The findings from this research will help to drive electrification in the Chinese transport sector.

As one of the major global suppliers of nickel, BHP is positioned to support the growth of electric vehicles in the world's largest auto market and continue to support China's next stage of rapid development as China's next phase of growth will come with a lower environmental footprint with the power mix to shift from one dominated by coal- to low-carbon sources, he said.

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