Billionaire iron ore miner Andrew Forrest’s new hydrogen and renewables initiative says it is delighted by the result of the initial decarbonisation projects centred around green hydrogen and zero emissions power.
Fortescue Future Industries says it wanted to test its hypothesis that there is sufficient 100 per cent renewable energy, hydrogen, ammonia and industrial manufacturing potential for products such as green cement, green fertiliser, green iron and steel, to fully satisfy the world’s needs.
“The company has confirmed that hypothesis,” said Julie Shuttleworth, the CEO of FFI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortescue Metals.
“Fortescue is delighted by these results. We have been mulling over hydrogen for more than a decade, becoming confident that hydrogen could be stored and transported as a zero-carbon fuel several years ago.”
Forrest, who led a 50-strong team of experts on a global odyssey in the middle of the pandemic last year, has set extraordinarily ambitious targets for green hydrogen in the scale of hundreds of gigawatts – in his home state of Western Australian, on the eastern seaboard, and globally.
Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines says the company is leading the heavy industry battle against global warming, “transitioning from being a major fossil fuel importer to a significant green and renewable energy and product exporter.”
She cited initial projects in the Pilbara, which will include a solar farm and battery storage at its mine sites, as well as “completely renewable” green hydrogen and green ammonia.
“All of us at Fortescue are committed to its decarbonisation. We are aiming to meet or beat our internal global industry-leading target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030,” Gaines said.
Shuttleworth says will FFI’s “Green Team” had already achieved “immense” results in the few months they had been together, including establishing a major facility at Hazelmere in Perth that is trialing technology on hydrogen, ammonia and battery power for trains, ships, trucks and drill rigs.
“Our dedicated specialist teams have worked relentlessly to bring our own heavy industry decarbonisation into reality,” Shuttleworth said.
The FFI team listed a number of ground-breaking initiatives, including:
- Successful combustion of ammonia in a locomotive fuel, with a pathway to achieve completely renewable green fuel
- Completion of design and construction of a combustion testing device for large marine (ship) engines, with pilot test work underway and a pathway to achieve completely renewable green shipping fuel
- Finalised design of a next generation ore carrier (ship) that will consume renewable green ammonia, with the Classification Society giving in principle design approval
- Testing of battery cells to be used on Fortescue haul trucks
- Design and construction of a hydrogen powered haul truck for technology demonstration, with systems testing underway
- Design and construction of a hydrogen powered drill rig for technology demonstration complete, with systems testing underway
- Successful production of high purity (>97%) green iron from Fortescue ores at low temperature in a continuous flow process
- Successful initial trialling to use waste from the green iron process noted above, with other easily sourced materials, to make green cement.