Fortescue restructures for future in greener resources

Fortescue

Fortescue Metals Group's Solomon ore processors. Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group has restructured its executive team with four appointments expanding its capacity from purely iron ore into green renewables and resources.

The miner’s chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines discussed the need for these additions as the company sets an example for the clean energy transition.

“We are diversifying our business to become an integrated, global green renewables and green resources company,” Gaines said.

“At this important juncture in Fortescue’s journey it is timely to refresh and renew our executive team with new perspectives and opportunities, global experience and deep understanding of our green iron ore, renewables and green industry future.”

Dino Otranto has been given the role of chief operating officer iron ore, making the leap from Vale where he held the same title for the company’s base metals North Atlantic operations in Canada.

Otranto has worked in Australia and internationally, providing operational, technical and financial expertise which will be put to use to establish Fortescue’s position in the green resources sector.

Otranto will begin his role at Fortescue in November.

Felicity Underhill has been appointed Fortescue’s new director of Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) for Australia’s eastern states.

FFI is a Fortescue subsidiary focused on developing, financing and operating zero-emission hydrogen assets from renewable sources.

Underhill has almost 20 years’ experience in the oil and gas sectors, including a time with Shell, and has worked specifically in hydrogen since 2018.

Most recently, Underhill worked as general manager of Future Fuels at Origin Energy and will remain the director and deputy chair of the Australian Hydrogen Council as she enters Fortescue.

Gordan Cowe has returned to Fortescue after the success of the T45 and T155 port expansions in 2007-09 and 2010-15, respectively, which allowed Fortescue to expand its Pilbara operations by millions of tonnes per annum.

Cowe will take up the role of FFI projects director for green renewables and green resources, streamlining implementation and optimising capital expenditure.

Warren Fish was the fourth and final appointment announced, becoming the new director for Aboriginal engagement, community, environment and government.

Fish has worked in a number of senior industry and government roles across heritage, native title, health safety and environment.

He has established his own consultancy in the field to aid Traditional Custodian groups through stakeholder relations, heritage and native title issues, and will bring a wealth of experience to Fortescue.

Fortescue hopes Fish’s expertise will contribute to the company’s negotiation of land access and collaboration as it expands its portfolio into green energy and export operations.

Gaines said she was excited to welcome the four appointments to the team, adding a wealth of knowledge to a growing business.

“They bring significant experience to lead and complement our highly capable operations, engineering, community, environment, and government teams as we restructure and broaden our leadership to achieve our goal of carbon neutrality, lower energy costs, and the establishment of our green hydrogen and green ammonia export operations,” Gaines said.

Fortescue indicated these four appointments would not be the last as the company continues its green-focused transition.

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