Rio Tinto U.S. Borax Mine in Boron, California.  -  Photo: Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto U.S. Borax Mine in Boron, California.

Photo: Rio Tinto

Neste has partnered with Rio Tinto to help the company transition all its heavy machinery from fossil diesel to renewable diesel at the U.S. Borax mine in Boron, California.

The partnership helps Rio Tinto reduce the carbon footprint of its fleet and sets a precedent for others in the mining industry to follow.

Rio Tinto's Promising Results from Renewable Diesel Trial

In 2022, Rio Tinto collaborated with Neste and Rolls-Royce to conduct an initial experiment involving the replacement of fossil diesel with renewable diesel in one of their haul trucks.

During the trial, Rio Tinto U.S. Borax utilized Neste MY Renewable Diesel, a fuel produced from 100% renewable sources like discarded cooking oil and animal fat waste, obtained sustainably.

Comparatively, Neste MY Renewable Diesel has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75% throughout its life cycle in contrast to traditional fossil diesel.

The trial outcomes demonstrated that a truck equipped with mtu engines from Rolls-Royce, powered by Neste MY Renewable Diesel, exhibited similar performance and dependability to trucks operating on fossil diesel.

Rio Tinto and Neste Join Forces

Rio Tinto U.S. Borax, encouraged by the positive outcomes, continued its collaboration with Rolls-Royce, Neste, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the State of California to fully transition its heavy machinery fleet at the U.S. Borax mine in Boron to renewable diesel by the end of May 2023.

This comprehensive transition encompassed all the heavy machinery on the premises, including haul trucks, loaders, and even blasting equipment.

The partnership with Neste in adopting renewable diesel aligns with Rio Tinto's global decarbonization objectives, aiming for a 50% reduction in Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2030 and a commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Paving the Way for Renewable Diesel Adoption

The transition was further supported by TACenergy, Neste's fuel distribution partner in California, which has dedicated efforts over the past decade to develop trial programs that validate the numerous benefits of renewable diesel, facilitating its adoption by cities and businesses like Rio Tinto as a lower-carbon and more sustainable solution.

Neste's expansion of its Singapore refinery and the joint venture with Marathon in Martinez, CA, will significantly increase Neste's total global production capacity of renewable products to 1.9 billion gallons (5.5 million tons) by early 2024.

This expansion positions Neste as the sole worldwide provider of renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and renewable feedstock for polymers and chemicals, with production facilities spanning three continents.

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