Fortescue, an iron ore group, has announced its decision to invest $1.14 billion in its first three projects as part of its renewable energy and hydrogen plans. The board approved the final investment decisions, with the majority of the funds, $550 million, allocated to the Phoenix Hydrogen Hub in the United States. This project involves the construction of an 80 megawatt electrolyser and liquefaction plant to produce up to 11,000 tonnes per annum of liquid green hydrogen.
Fortescue also approved a $150 million investment in a 50 megawatt green hydrogen project in Gladstone, Queensland, that will utilize the company’s own electrolyser technology. Additionally, the company will allocate $50 million to develop a green iron trial plant at its Christmas Creek iron ore mine in Western Australia.
While Fortescue has other projects in the pipeline in countries such as Brazil, Kenya, and Norway, it has currently set aside $750 million for the board-approved projects over the next three years.
The future of the Gibson Island green hydrogen and ammonia project in Queensland remains uncertain, as it requires further work to address Australia’s high green electricity costs.
Mark Hutchinson, Fortescue’s energy chief, highlighted the strategic positioning of the Phoenix hydrogen hub in the US market due to the Biden administration’s focus on clean hydrogen. He emphasized the project’s attractive location near California, a major trucking route, and a state highly committed to clean hydrogen initiatives.
Fortescue plans to start construction on the Phoenix hub in the second half of 2024, with production expected to begin in mid-2026. The company anticipates creating 300 direct jobs during construction and 40 direct jobs during operations. The Phoenix hub is projected to be in full production within 12 months of its launch, with an estimated operating life of more than 25 years.
Q: What is Fortescue’s main investment focus?
A: Fortescue is investing heavily in renewable energy and hydrogen projects.
Q: What is the largest allocation of funds among Fortescue’s current projects?
A: The Phoenix Hydrogen Hub in the United States has been allocated $550 million.
Q: How many direct jobs are expected to be created during the construction of the Phoenix hub?
A: Approximately 300 direct jobs will be created during the construction phase of the Phoenix hub.
Q: When does Fortescue plan to start building the Phoenix hydrogen hub?
A: Construction of the Phoenix hub is expected to commence in the second half of 2024.
Q: What is the estimated operating life of the Phoenix hydrogen hub?
A: The Phoenix hydrogen hub is estimated to have an operating life of more than 25 years.