Fortescue to build second hydrogen plant

Fortescue Metals Group is set to develop a green hydrogen plant in Brazil as part of a company plan to remove diesel reliance from mining equipment.

The company signed an agreement with Brazil’s ports and harbours operator Port of Açu to install a 300 megawatt capacity green hydrogen plant, which will produce 250,000 tonnes of green ammonia per year at the port.

Port of Açu is Latin America’s largest privately owned deep-water port-industrial complex.

The supply of renewable power and green hydrogen will support Port of Açu’s industrialisation, which stands on the production of green steel, fertilisers, chemicals and fuels.

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) chief executive Julie Shuttleworth said the company was assessing renewable energy and green hydrogen opportunities globally and would lead and drive the green energy and product industry as it transitioned away from fossil fuels.

“The opportunity to establish totally new and future large-scale industries will drive growth in the Brazilian economy,” she said.

“We expect the potential for new green industries at Port of Açu to substantially diversify, broaden and deepen Brazil’s already skilled workforce.”

Port of Açu chief executive Jose Firmo said the port was sailing steadfastly ahead toward the sustainable economy of the future.

“One of the pillars of our vision for the port’s industrialisation are today’s operational energy transition projects and the renewable energy-fuelled green industries of tomorrow,” he said.

“This will be the first green hydrogen plant in the country and will place FFI and Açu at the forefront of clean energy production and the green industrialisation of Brazil.”

The projects are subject to the completion of feasibility studies and approvals, with the funding to be separately sourced without recourse to Fortescue.

The announcement comes after Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest outlined the company’s plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2030 – 10 years early than previously targeted.

“We are trialling and demonstrating green hydrogen technologies in global-scale commercial environments, while also rapidly evolving into a green hydrogen and electricity producer of similar scale,” Forrest said earlier this week.

Fortescue is partnering with Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Iwatani Corporation to build a liquid hydrogen production in Japan.

The company is also venturing to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea to find hydropower resources for export and domestic consumption.

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