Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) says it is partnering with Incitec Pivot, Australia’s largest fertiliser supplier, to conduct a feasibility study to convert its ammonia-production facility at Gibson Island in Brisbane, Queensland, to run on green, renewable hydrogen.
The ammonia-production facility at Gibson Island currently uses natural gas as a feedstock and has a contract in place for this supply until the end of 2022.
FFI also plans to construct an on-site electrolysis plant, which will produce up to 50,000 t/y of renewable, green hydrogen for conversion into green ammonia.
The project, if successful, will create a new domestic and export market for green, renewable ammonia, according to FFI. The resulting green ammonia could also provide a low-carbon fuel supply to the Port of Brisbane and Brisbane airport.
Decarbonising existing industrial plants remains a major challenge in the transition to a green, renewable future, FFI says. The company aims to demonstrate that infrastructure conversion is both technically and economically feasible, in order to accelerate decarbonisation while protecting jobs.
FFI says today’s announcement aligns with the Queensland and Commonwealth governments’ strategy to develop an innovative and competitive green hydrogen industry that delivers reliable domestic supply and new export opportunities.
Incitec Pivot produces around 2 Mt/y of fertilisers for use in Australia’s grain, cotton, pasture, dairy, sugar and horticulture industries. The first step of the project will be a feasibility study, with preliminary results available by the end of 2021.
This is the second major announcement by FFI this week in Queensland, following an announcement to establish the world’s largest electrolyser, renewable industry and equipment manufacturing centre, the Global Green Energy Manufacturing Centre, at Gladstone.
FFI says it is committed to generating 15 Mt/y of green hydrogen by 2030, rising to 50 Mt/y in the decade thereafter. While FFI’s green hydrogen will supply both domestic and export markets, it will also enable Fortescue to achieve its industry-leading target of carbon neutrality by 2030.
FFI Chief Executive Officer, Julie Shuttleworth, said: “FFI’s goal is to become the world’s leading, renewable energy and green products company, powering the Australian economy and creating jobs for Australia as we transition away from fossil fuels.
“FFI’s partnership with Incitec Pivot is an exciting opportunity to harness existing infrastructure at Gibson Island, fast tracking the production of green ammonia at an industrial scale.”
Incitec Pivot Managing Director, Jeanne Johns, said: “We are pleased to be partnering our world-class manufacturing and ammonia expertise in Australia with FFI’s hydrogen and renewable energy capabilities to contribute to Australia’s potential as a green ammonia powerhouse.
“If feasible, this project would sustain highly skilled manufacturing jobs at Gibson Island and allow us to leverage our existing capabilities and assets to create a thriving renewable hydrogen ecosystem in Australia in the near term.”