Fortescue looking to develop green ammonia plant in Tasmania

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Fortescue Metals Group is investigating the development of a green ammonia plant in Bell Bay, Tasmania, which has been announced as a successful participant in the Tasmanian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Industry Development Funding program.

According to Fortescue, the project would involve the construction of a 250MW green hydrogen plant at the Bell Bay Industrial Precinct with green ammonia production capacity of 250,000 tonnes per year for domestic and international export.

Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines said the project – which would have the capacity to be ‘one of the world’s largest green hydrogen plants’ – is being targeted for an investment decision by the company’s Board in 2021.

“Working with our wholly owned subsidiary Fortescue Future Industries, we are assessing clean energy opportunities locally and internationally to  capitalise on the important role that green hydrogen will play to ensure the world can meet the Paris 2050 targets,” Ms Gaines said.

“Subject to detailed feasibility analysis, the Tasmania Project will be an important step in demonstrating our intention to position Australia at the forefront of the establishment of a bulk export market for green hydrogen.

“Fortescue has a successful track record of identifying and assessing opportunities and by building on our expertise and supply chain capabilities, we will ensure that the financial and project execution discipline that Fortescue is renowned for is applied to projects developed by Fortescue Future Industries.

“Partnering with the Tasmanian Government to harness the abundant renewable energy in Tasmania, we see potential to create a significant new green industry.”

Ms Gaines noted that the project supports the company’s operational target to be net zero by 2040, and builds on its earlier investments in green hydrogen production and technologies.

These include Fortescue’s partnership with the CSIRO for the development of new hydrogen technologies – including a world first membrane technology which provides the potential for large scale hydrogen extraction from ammonia – and its A$32 million hydrogen mobility project at Christmas Creek, which comprises the construction of a renewable hydrogen refuelling facility and the deployment of a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell passenger coaches from mid-2021.

Fortescue had also inked a partnership agreement with ATCO Australia to build and operate the first combined green hydrogen production and refuelling facility in Western Australia, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding with Hyundai Motor Co and CSIRO to advance renewable hydrogen technology for domestic transport.

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