Fortescue brings three projects to FID committing $1.1 billion


Australian mining and green energy major Fortescue is finally moving forward with actual projects, committing $1.14 billion or USD 750 million to three projects over the next three years. While two of the projects are in Australia, by far the company’s biggest spend will be in the US. 

Around $835 million (USD 550 million) will go towards the  Phoenix Hydrogen Hub, an electrolyser and liquefaction facility in Arizona. Stage one of the project is planned to include an 80 MW electrolyser and liquefaction facility capable of producing up to 12,000 tonnes of liquified green hydrogen annually. Fortescue expects to begin construction on the Phoenix hub in the second half of 2024, and is aiming for first production in mid-2026.

Just yesterday, the company also revealed plans for a new clean energy technology manufacturing plant in the US, lauding and looking to take advantage of the country’s Inflation Reduction Act.

In Australia, Fortescue is moving forward with the first stage of its 50 MW Gladstone project which will sit adjacent to its existing Gladstone electrolyser manufacturing facility. The project is set to use Fortescue’s own proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysers manufactured next door, with 30 MW of electrolyser capacity expected to begin being installed in 2024. The further 20 MW is expected in 2028, depending on the availability of water, the company said.

Finally, the company’s board has approved its green iron pilot plant at Christmas Creek in the Pilbara. Just $76 million (USD 50 million) has been set aside for this project, which is seeking to pilot new pure green ironmaking in Western Australia.

Fortescue’s energy division, formerly known as Fortescue Future Industries, increased its capital expenditure guidance this financial year to USD 500 million from USD 400 million (to $760 million from $608 million).

Conservative newspaper The Australian noted it has been three years since the Fortescue boss, billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, started telling shareholders the company would be producing 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year. These projects will only produce around 19,000 tonnes per year, the paper noted.

The future of some of the company’s lauded projects like the Gibson Island green hydrogen and ammonia project in Queensland remain unclear. The company said that project still requires more work, pointing out Australia “still suffers structurally high green electricity costs.”

In terms of the general meeting (AGM) held this morning in Perth, shareholders rejected the company’s contentious executive pay and bonus policy. Fortescue has been mired in news of shock departures of senior executives this last year.

There was also a technical malfunction which meant Forrest’s microphone continued casting following the closure of the event, with attendees noting they could hear the non-executive chairman complaining about the duration of the meeting.

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