Fortescue strengthens target for carbon neutrality by 2030

By Daniel Brightmore
The world’s fourth largest iron ore producer has brought forward its self-imposed net zero deadline by 20 years...

Fortescue Metals’ subsidiary Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) will be a key enabler of the miner’s carbon neutrality target through the development of green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia projects in Australia.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, commented: “Fortescue has a proud history of setting ambitious stretch targets and we are pleased to announce this new industry-leading target, with detailed planning underway and projects identified to support our operational emissions reduction goals, building on the industry leading initiatives that have previously been announced. We are working towards decarbonising our entire mobile fleet and fixed plant through the next phase of hydrogen and battery electric energy solutions.” 

Fortescue is seeking to move from being a major consumer of fossil fuel with a current trajectory of more than 1 billion litres a year of diesel being used across the operations if no remedial action is taken – to a major clean and renewable energy exporter. 

Fortescue’s Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest added: “We have joined the global battle to defeat climate change. 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.” 

FFI is advancing projects across Australia including Tasmania, to build large-scale renewable energy and green hydrogen production capacity. This will expedite the substitution of green hydrogen and green ammonia for carbon-based fuels. These projects will, with the support of Australia’s governments, contribute to a significant reduction in national carbon emissions. 

Through FFI and its highly committed Operations team, Fortescue is undertaking to deliver several key projects by the stretch target of 30 June 2021. This will underpin its pathway to decarbonisation. These projects include: 

  • Developing a ship design powered by green ammonia and trialling that design in new ammonia engine technology, at scale 
  • Testing large battery technology in our haul trucks 
  • Trialling hydrogen fuel cell power for our drill rigs 
  • Trialling technology on our locomotives to run on green ammonia 
  • Conducting trials to use renewable energy in the Pilbara to convert iron ore to green iron at low temperatures, without coal. 

Gaines concluded: “Each of these projects will contribute to the world’s inexorable march to carbon neutrality. Fortescue will establish that the major steel, truck, train, ship and mobile plant industries can be operated with renewable, environmentally friendly energy. This will be possible as a result of these ground-breaking Fortescue trials. 

“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.” 

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