Australia-based Fortescue Metals Group, one of the world’s largest producers of iron ore, recently revised its emissions reduction goal to achieve carbon neutrality 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.
We have joined the global battle to defeat climate change. We are trialing and demonstrating green hydrogen technologies in global-scale commercial environments, while also rapidly evolving into a green hydrogen and electricity producer of similar scale.
Our aim is to provide the two “missing links” in the climate change battle, to create both the demand and the supply of green hydrogen. Due to its high energy performance and environmental neutrality, green hydrogen and direct green electricity has the potential to eliminate fossil fuels from supply chains. Once established, these advances will also substantially reduce Fortescue’s operating costs.
Fortescue’s strong focus on green energy and our carbon neutrality targets will sit alongside our continuing excellence in, and commitment to, our iron ore business. While our green energy and industry initiatives may one day significantly outscale our iron ore business due to the global demand for renewable energy, our commitment to iron ore and resources globally remains indefeasible.—Dr Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group
Fortescue is seeking to move from being a major consumer of fossil fuel with a current trajectory of more than 1 billion liters 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. These projects will, with the support of Australia’s governments, contribute to a significant reduction in national carbon emissions.
Fortescue is undertaking to deliver several key projects by the stretch target of 30 June 2021. These projects include:
Developing a ship design powered by green ammonia and trialing that design in new ammonia engine technology, at scale;
Testing large battery technology in haul trucks;
Trialing hydrogen fuel cell power for drill rigs;
Trialing technology on locomotives to run on green ammonia; and
Conducting trials to use renewable energy in the Pilbara to convert iron ore to green iron at low temperatures, without coal.
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.—Elizabeth Gaines, Fortescue CEO