Tag Archives: Fortescue Future Industries

Fortescue Future Industries plots path for 300 MW green hydrogen plant in Brazil

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group, and Porto do Açu Operações SA (Port of Açu), a subsidiary of Prumo Logistica SA, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to assess the opportunity to develop hydrogen-based green industrial projects in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Signed in late February, the MoU will allow for FFI and Port of Açu to conduct development studies into the feasibility of installing a green hydrogen plant at Port of Açu, Latin America’s largest privately owned deep-water port-industrial complex, FFI said.

Subject to the outcome of the studies, the project envisages construction of a 300 MW capacity green hydrogen plant at Port of Açu, with potential to produce 250,000 t/y of green ammonia.

The availability of green hydrogen and renewable power is expected to drive further sustainable industrialisation of the port, including production of green steel, fertilisers, chemicals, fuels and other sustainably manufactured industrial products, according to FFI. Anglo American already uses the port for exporting its iron ore from Minas-Rio.

The MoU also lays the groundwork for on-site solar power development projects, as well as off-shore wind development projects in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo.

FFI Chief Executive Officer, Julie Shuttleworth, said: “FFI is assessing renewable energy and green hydrogen opportunities globally and will lead and drive the green energy and product industry as we transition away from fossil fuels.

“I am excited to announce this MoU with Port of Açu. The opportunity to establish totally new and future large-scale industries will drive growth in the Brazilian economy. We expect the potential for new green industries at Port of Açu to substantially diversify, broaden and deepen Brazil’s already skilled workforce.”

Jose Firmo, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Açu, said: “The Port of Açu is sailing steadfastly ahead toward the sustainable economy of the future. One of the pillars of our vision for the port’s industrialisation are today’s operational energy transition projects and the renewable energy-fuelled green industries of tomorrow.

“Açu is a gateway between the growing Brazilian economy and rapidly expanding low carbon businesses around the globe.”

Firmo added: “This will be the first green hydrogen plant in the country and will place FFI and Açu at the forefront of clean energy production and the green industrialisation of Brazil.”

Subject to the completion of feasibility studies and approvals, individual projects will be developed by FFI with ownership and project finance sources to be separately secured without recourse to Fortescue, the company said.

Fortescue fast-tracks carbon neutrality aim, sets plan to trial hydrogen-powered drills

Fortescue Metals Group is accelerating its carbon neutrality efforts, with the iron ore miner now expecting to achieve this ‘green’ milestone by 2030, 10 years earlier than its previous target.

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortescue, will be a key enabler of this target through the development of green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia projects in Australia, however, the company has also identified battery-electric technology as a potential diesel alternative game changer.

Dr Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, said: “We have joined the global battle to defeat climate change. We are trialling and demonstrating green hydrogen technologies in global-scale commercial environments, while also rapidly evolving into a green hydrogen and electricity producer of similar scale.”

In line with its 2030 aim, Fortescue, through FFI and its operations team, is undertaking to deliver several key projects by the stretch target of June 30, 2021. This, the company says, will underpin its pathway to decarbonisation.

These projects include:

  • Developing a ship design powered by green ammonia and trialling that design in new ammonia engine technology, at scale;
  • Testing large battery technology in its haul trucks – a project the company is pursuing with the help of Williams Advanced Engineering;
  • Trialling hydrogen fuel cell power for its drill rigs;
  • Trialling technology on its locomotives to run on green ammonia; and
  • Conducting trials to use renewable energy in the Pilbara of Western Australia to convert iron ore to “green iron” at low temperatures, without coal.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Each of these projects will contribute to the world’s inexorable march to carbon neutrality. Fortescue will establish that the major steel, truck, train, ship and mobile plant industries can be operated with renewable, environmentally friendly energy. This will be possible as a result of these ground-breaking Fortescue trials. Each will be tested by Fortescue using commercial-scale equipment to prove that the demand for direct green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia could one day be as large as the fossil fuel industry.”

She added: “These projects are in addition to Fortescue’s significant investment with our partners into energy infrastructure, including the Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project and Pilbara Energy Connect program.”

Forrest said the company’s commitment to demonstrate green hydrogen’s economic value in world-scale operations, and become a major energy exporter, means Fortescue will emerge as an “executor” of major green hydrogen projects.

He said the company’s green energy and industry initiatives may one day out-scale its iron ore business due to the global demand for renewable energy, but Fortescue’s commitment to iron ore and resources globally “remains indefeasible”.

Fortescue says it is seeking to move from being a major consumer of fossil fuel with a current trajectory of more than 1 billion litres a year of diesel being used across the operations if no remedial action is taken – to a major clean and renewable energy exporter.

FFI is advancing projects across Australia, including Tasmania, to build large-scale renewable energy and green hydrogen production capacity. This will expedite the substitution of green hydrogen and green ammonia for carbon-based fuels, it says. These projects will, with the support of Australia’s governments, contribute to a significant reduction in national carbon emissions.

Fortescue’s Forrest opens up about iron ore miner’s ‘green steel’ ambitions

Fortescue Metals Group Chairman and founder, Dr Andrew Forrest (pictured), has revealed the iron ore miner has plans to build Australia’s first “green steel” pilot plant this year.

A commercial plant, powered entirely by wind and solar, could be constructed in the next few years he said in the first Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Boyer Lecture for 2021, entitled: ‘Oil vs Water: Confessions of a Carbon Emitter’.

In a wide-ranging talk, he acknowledge that Fortescue was trialling both known methods of making “zero-carbon-steel” without the use of coal in Australia: replacing coal in the furnace with ‘green hydrogen’ and adding carbon separately to strengthen the steel, and “zap[ping] the ore with renewable electricity”.

On the development of such an industry, Forrest said: “We could look at losing our coal industry as a national disaster – yet, I’ve always believed, out of every setback, is the seed of equal or greater opportunity.

“We produce over 40% of the world’s iron ore. And our potential green energy and hydrogen resources are immeasurable.

“If Australia were to capture just 10% of the world’s steel market, we could generate well over 40,000 jobs – more than what’s required to replace every job in the coal industry.”

Fortescue, through its Fortescue Future Industries company, has been signing agreements to leverage hydro-electric power and geothermal energy to become one of the “world’s largest green energy and product businesses”, Forrest said.

“We’re now undertaking feasibility studies that could lead to some 300 GW of power – more than four times what Australia can produce,” he explained.

Forrest also mentioned some of the decarbonisation work Fortescue is currently working on.

Back in December, Fortescue Chief Operating Officer, Greg Lilleyman, announced the company was working on developing an in-house, non-diesel 240 t haul truck prototype that will test both battery-electric and fuel-cell electric drivetrain technology in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Seemingly referencing this project, Forrest said: “By the end of the decade, our trucks will run on renewable energy. Imagine that: a fleet of vehicles that produces nothing more than steam as exhaust.”

He also said the company was aiming to develop “green iron ore trains” powered by either renewable electricity or “green ammonia”.

Looking at the company’s shipping operations, he said 2021 would see the company “begin to settle designs” that allow its ships to run on “zero-pollution, green ammonia”.

He added: “And we’re willing to share that knowledge, to help our competitors go green too – including Vale, one of the largest mining companies in the world.”

Fortescue Future Industries to investigate Indonesia’s hydro, geothermal power potential

Fortescue Future Industries has signed its second hydropower agreement in a week, with the Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary agreeing with the Government of Indonesia on a pact that allows it priority to investigate projects using the country’s hydropower and geothermal resources for ‘green’ industrial operations.

This comes on top of the government and Minderoo Foundation, a company chaired by Fortescue Metals Chairman, Andrew Forrest, signing a letter of intent to dramatically reduce plastic pollution in Indonesia’s coastal waters by 2025.

The Deed of Agreement provides first priority to Fortescue Future Industries to conduct development studies into the feasibility of projects using Indonesia’s hydropower and geothermal resources to support green industrial operations, principally for export to global markets, it said.

Subject to the completion of feasibility studies and approvals, individual projects will be developed by Fortescue Future Industries with ownership and project finance sources to be separately secured without recourse to Fortescue.

This follows a similar green hydropower agreement with the PNG government, signed recently.

“Fortescue Future Industries is underpinned by Fortescue’s world-class expertise, operational excellence and proven capability to drive future growth,” the company said. “Fortescue is a values-based business, committed to investing in the long-term sustainability of its core business while pursuing growth and development and delivering returns to shareholders.”

The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment of the Republic of Indonesia, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said: “Indonesia and Fortescue Future Industries have entered into a preliminary binding agreement to assess the development of Indonesia’s substantial renewable power to drive green industries.”

Minister Luhut and Fortescue’s Forrest said in a joint statement: “The establishment of totally new and future large-scale industries will drive growth in Indonesia’s economy.”

Forrest added: “We have historically always enriched our organisation by providing training for guaranteed employment to local communities who have then strongly supported the projects we have developed together. We expect the new green industries in Indonesia to substantially diversify, broaden and deepen Indonesia’s already skilled workforce.”

Minister Luhut commented: “For too many decades, proposals have been thrust upon Indonesia that rely on the Indonesian people assuming the full financial risk through the purchase of electricity at prices that underwrote these developments. This agreement allows Fortescue Future Industries to access all the major hydropower and geothermal opportunities in Indonesia and establish downstream value adding industry to fully utilise the power created from sustainable energy sites.”

Meanwhile, through a joint partnership with the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, Minderoo Foundation will pilot its ‘Sea The Future’ initiative in Indonesia to scale up recycling and waste collection infrastructure and operations. Sea The Future is a coalition of leading companies in the plastics industry committed to ending plastic leakage to nature and accelerating the transition to a circular plastics economy, according to Fortescue.

Fortescue to evaluate green hydropower opportunities in PNG

Fortescue Metals Group’s Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd has signed an agreement with the Papua New Guinea Government and wholly-owned corporation, Kumul Consolidated Holdings Ltd (KCH), that could lead to the development of PNG’s hydropower resources to support ‘green’ industrial operations.

Under the deed, the parties will promptly investigate the feasibility of these green projects for both domestic and export markets, a move Fortescue says is consistent with its record of delivering both capital growth and yield to its shareholders while sharing the benefits of sustainable development and employment with local communities.

KCH is the entity which holds in trust, the Papua New Guinea government’s non-petroleum and non-mining assets.

“Fortescue Future Industries shares Fortescue’s commitment to a green industry future and will work closely with local people and communities to establish training and long-term careers,” the company said. “This is fully aligned with Fortescue’s approach from its inception that the communities in which we operate will benefit from our growth and development.”

Subject to the completion of feasibility studies and approvals, individual projects will be developed by Fortescue Future Industries with ownership and project finance sources to be separately secured without recourse to Fortescue, the company explained.

“Execution of studies and approach to capital investment will be consistent with Fortescue’s track record of developing multi-billion dollar projects in the Pilbara, at an industry leading capital intensity,” it added.

(Pictured above is the Warangoi Hydropower Station in East New Britain, PNG, operated by PNG Power)