Fortescue expands hydropower pursuit to Indonesia

Fortescue Metals Group has extended its search of hydropower resources to Indonesia following a similar move in Papua New Guinea (PNG) last week.

The company signed an agreement that provides its subsidiary, Fortescue Future Industries, the first priority to assess the viability of using Indonesia’s hydropower and geothermal resources.

This move is aimed to support green industrial operations, principally for export to global markets.

Fortescue will then develop individual projects subject to the completion of feasibility studies and approvals.

“We expect the new green industries in Indonesia to substantially diversify, broaden and deepen Indonesia’s already skilled workforce,” Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest said.

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan added that for too many decades, proposals had been thrust upon the country that relied on the Indonesian people to assume the full financial risk through the purchase of electricity at prices that had underwritten 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,” he said.

Forrest’s philanthropic organisation, Minderoo Foundation has also signed an agreement with the Indonesian Government to dramatically reduce plastic pollution in the country’s coastal waters by 2025.

The initiative, called Sea of the Future, aims to end plastic leakage to nature and accelerate the transition to a circular plastics economy.

“We know that the harm caused by plastic pollution entering the environment impacts us all, but it disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable in our societies,” Forrest said.

“The coronavirus crisis has made already intolerable conditions worse – low oil prices are forcing recyclers of plastic out of business, and waste collectors are unable to work for fear of contagion.

“Through Sea The Future Indonesia, Minderoo Foundation will work with the Government of Indonesia to build a circular plastic economy that provides job security for tens of thousands of people and environmental security for all.”

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