Feeds

World's largest miner spooked by climate change

BHP Biliton rebuilds coal loader to cope with hurricanes, rising sea levels

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

BHP Billiton – the mining giant with massive coal interests – is laying out its own cash rebuilding a coastal facility to cope with climate change.

Vulture South can’t claim any scoop on this – it was announced in an investor presentation on Monday December 3, so about half the world knows about it if they’re paying attention – and we’re quite happy to credit the fingers that typed the quickest as belonging to the Australian Financial Review.

But the irony of the story skips past “delicious”, pays a passing nod to schadenfraude and lands somewhere between “you’re kidding” and “too good to be true”, because the facility in question is a coal terminal. Here’s a salient quote:

“The potential for rising sea levels and more cyclones [hurricanes outside Australia] due to climate change was a factor in [BHP’s] decision to replace a jetty at its Hay Point coal export terminal”.

The company apparently left itself some wriggle-room with denier investors by leaving out the word “anthropogenic”.

However, it seems that when push comes to shove, when bean-counters, engineers and actuaries scream loud enough in the ears of their board, prudence holds sway. The AFR quotes a ranking BHP executive, BHP ferrous and coal head Marcus Randolph, thus:

“As we see more cyclone related events . . . the vulnerability of one of these facilities to a cyclone is quite high,” he said. “So we build a model saying this is how we see this impacting what the economics would be and used that with our board of directors to rebuild the facility to be more durable to climate change.”

“As these cyclones become more severe, we need to have facilities that are more able to withstand them,” he is further quoted as saying.

This doesn’t appear to be evidence of a sudden attack of hemp-wearing dope-smoking grant-sucking hippiedom in the world’s biggest hole-digger. It seems, for example, to still be happy to blur the issue with the cautious term “carbon intensity”.

While Randolph’s unequivocal statement about emissions is this: “An absolute ceiling is an absolute ceiling”, the investor briefing was told – as was the left-leaning (for a business newspaper) AFR – that BHP’s “carbon intensity” is “16 percent below 2006 levels” (meaning “we mine more stuff for other people to burn, while spending less on energy ourselves” – a perfectly sensible efficiency strategy).

The same report notes that the company is de-stressing its coal investments – significant in Australia, where governments across the political spectrum happily lend hands in the bucket brigade to send the black stuff to China at whatever price the Middle Kingdom is happy to pay. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.