Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

Australian iron-ore producer Fortescue aims to become carbon neutral by 2030, a decade earlier than planned, and become a net exporter of renewable energy through its subsidiary Fortescue Future Industries (FFI).


Elizabeth Gaines, chief executive officer, Fortescue, said during an investor call on Monday that the company has identified key projects that will switch to renewable resources such as green hydrogen to help achieve its new goal.


The plan includes using renewable energy to convert iron ore to green iron at low temperatures without the use of coal at the company’s Pilbara mine in Western Australia. In H1 FY2021 ending December 31, 2020, the company increased its iron ore shipments by 2pc to 90.7mn wmt compared to the same timeframe of the previous fiscal.


Moreover, the company plans to decarbonize its haulers by switching to battery technology, using hydrogen fuel to power its drilling rigs, and using green ammonia to transport its products by sea and rail, Gaines said.


She added that investments in these new projects would be in addition to the $700mn outlay announced earlier to develop Australia’s largest electrolyzer that will use hydrogen to refuel its bus fleet.


Fortescue plans to reduce and eventually discontinue its use of fossil fuels through these initiatives. Gaines said that the company annually uses around one billion liters of diesel to power all its operations at present.


The company also announced that FFI, which is currently holding trials of ammonia- and hydrogen-based fuels at its global operations will evolve into a global producer and provider of these fuels for exports. Andrew Forest, Fortescue’s founder and chairman said during the call that FFI would enable the company to become a major exporter of green energy that will allow other heavy industries to become more environmentally friendly.

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