Home » Fortescue’s Green Ambitions: $750M for Hydrogen and Steel Projects

Fortescue’s Green Ambitions: $750M for Hydrogen and Steel Projects

by Victor Adetimilehin

Fortescue Metals, a leading iron-ore miner in Australia, has announced a major investment in green energy and green steel projects. The company, founded by billionaire Andrew Forrest, aims to become a global leader in the green industrial revolution. The company’s board has approved $750 million in funding over three years for three projects: the Phoenix Hydrogen Hub in Arizona, the Gladstone PEM50 project in Queensland, and a green iron trial commercial plant in Western Australia.


These are among the first green hydrogen projects to reach the final investment decision stage in the US and Australia. The company has also identified potential projects in Brazil, Kenya, and Norway. The Phoenix Hydrogen Hub is an 80 MW electrolyser and liquefaction facility that will produce up to 11,000 tons of liquid green hydrogen per year. The project will target the US market, especially California, which has strong incentives for clean hydrogen.


The Gladstone PEM50 project is a 50 MW green hydrogen project that will use Fortescue’s own electrolyser technology. The project will start construction next year and begin production in 2025. The green ironmaking project will build a pilot plant at Christmas Creek with a capacity to produce 1,500 tons of green iron per year, starting in 2025. The project will use existing green hydrogen and solar generation, as well as existing ore production capacity and infrastructure.


Fortescue’s CEO Mark Hutchinson said the company would aim for double-digit project returns and that this was the start of a pipeline of green energy projects. Fortescue’s green ambitions are part of its goal to reach net zero emissions by 2030, ahead of its rivals and the industry average. The company plans to use green hydrogen to decarbonize its mining and shipping operations, as well as to create new markets for green products such as green ammonia and green fertilizers.


Fortescue’s founder and chairman Andrew Forrest has been a vocal advocate for green hydrogen as a solution to the global climate crisis. He has also called for a global green energy agency to coordinate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Fortescue’s announcement comes amid a growing interest in green hydrogen and green steel around the world. Several countries, including the US, the EU, China, Japan, and South Korea, have announced hydrogen strategies and targets. Green steel, which uses hydrogen instead of coal to reduce iron ore, is seen as a way to cut emissions from one of the most polluting sectors.


Fortescue’s move is also a sign of the changing dynamics in the iron ore market, as China, the largest consumer, seeks to reduce its reliance on Australian imports amid political tensions. Fortescue hopes to diversify its revenue streams and customer base by tapping into the emerging demand for green hydrogen and green steel. Fortescue’s green projects are expected to create jobs and economic opportunities in the regions where they are located, as well as to contribute to the global efforts to combat climate change. The company said it was committed to working with local communities, governments, and stakeholders to ensure the success of its green vision.


Source: [Mining Weekly]


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