World Class Supplier Program

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Supported by our Copper Business in Chile, the World Class Supplier Program develops new solutions to operational and environmental challenges faced by our Chilean business, while giving our suppliers the capacity to operate on an international or ‘world class’ basis.

Five areas – water, energy, HSEC (health, safety, environment and community), human capital and operational efficiency – were defined as priorities for the program. As of December 2012, the program was working with 36 suppliers that employed more than 5,000 people on a total of 43 projects with combined sales of US$400 million. The program has led to significant developments from the suppliers involved, including Tesra and their technology partner Sixth Sense Processware, which reduced electricity consumption per tonne of copper by two per cent through an automatic scanning system detecting shorts and helping operators fix them in Spence’s electrowinning plant.

Another supplier, Prodinsa, developed a solution that increased the useful life of cables on Escondida’s electromechanical shovels by 40 per cent. With annual sales of US$50 million and 200 employees, Prodinsa is one of the program’s largest suppliers, and its exports already account for around 50 per cent of its sales. Power Train Technologies (PTT) significantly improved its health and safety standards and obtained government certification as a research and development centre.

The World Class Supplier Program has been adopted by Codelco, the Chilean state copper producer, where it was launched in 2011, with 11 innovation projects. As of December 2012, the innovation projects under development were estimated to have a net present value of US$121 million.

Participants on the World Class Supplier Program receive consultancy support as they develop their innovation projects, focusing on management, corporate governance, strategic planning and marketing. Timing 2009 and is ongoing Investment US$50 million to date,

Read more on our community investment activities in the BHP Billiton Community Review (PDF 3.6 MB)

Timing  Investment

2009 and ongoing

US$50 million to date