Green power anticipated to surpass iron ore business: Fortescue

Fortescue Metals Group has moved its carbon neutrality target forward by 10 years to 2030 as the company advances its emissions reduction projects.

The ambitious target follows a series of announcements involving Fortescue’s trials of battery technology, hydrogen and green ammonia as a power source for mining equipment.

Fortescue stated that it would consume over a billion litres of diesel across its operations if no action was taken.

Company chairman Andrew Forrest said that Fortescue is rapidly evolving into a green hydrogen and electricity producer of global commercial scale that could one day surpass its iron ore business.

“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.

“Fortescue’s strong focus on green energy and our carbon neutrality targets will sit alongside our continuing excellence in, and commitment to, our iron ore business,” he said.

“While our green energy and industry initiatives may one day significantly outscale our iron ore business due to the global demand for renewable energy, our commitment to iron ore and resources globally remains indefeasible.”

According to Forrest, green energy usage will also reduce Fortescue’s operating costs significantly.

Through Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), Fortescue is developing a ship design powered by green ammonia and testing the use of renewable energy to convert iron ore to green iron without coal in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

It is also testing large battery technology in its haul trucks, hydrogen fuel cell power for its drill rigs and technology that enables its locomotives to run on green ammonia.

Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said the company was working towards decarbonising its entire mobile fleet and fixed plant through the next phase of hydrogen and battery electric energy solutions.

“Fortescue will establish that the major steel, truck, train, ship and mobile plant industries can be operated with renewable, environmentally friendly energy,” she said.

“Each will be tested by Fortescue using commercial-scale equipment to prove that the demand for direct green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia could one day be as large as the fossil fuel industry.”

Fortescue will engage an independent assessor to monitor the company’s progress towards carbon neutrality.

The company’s management team will also be rewarded for meeting its carbon emissions targets.

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