Fortescue targets 2023 for green hydrogen decision

Dr Andrew Forrest AO (AAPowerLink)
Fortescue Future Industries' Dr Andrew Forrest

Fortescue hopes to make a final investment decision in 2023 on a green hydrogen project that would be its first to generate revenue, chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said.

According to Reuters, the Gibson Island project in Queensland is one of many tentative deals and studies unveiled by the world’s fourth-largest producer of iron ore over the last 18 months as it strives to become a major green energy supplier.

Related article: Fortescue helps Germany swap Russian gas for hydrogen

“From a revenue perspective the most advanced would be the Gibson Island project … Hopefully a final investment decision (FID) in 2023,” Gaines told the Macquarie Australia Conference in Sydney, when asked which of its hydrogen projects would be the first to produce revenue.

First-phase feasibility studies were completed in December on using electrolysis powered by renewable energy to produce 50,000 tonnes a year of hydrogen to feed a reopening of the Gibson Island ammonia plant owned by Australia’s top fertiliser producer Incitec Pivot.

Incitec Pivot last year announced it would shut the plant at the end of 2022 because the local supply of natural gas to make its ammonia had become too costly. It is now considering using green hydrogen to make ammonia.

Related article: Work begins on Fortescue’s Gladstone electrolyser

Fortescue said in December that Fortescue Future Industries and Incitec were set to enter talks on running a preliminary engineering design study ahead of making a final investment decision.

Incitec declined to comment on Wednesday on the status of the project as it is in a black-out period ahead of its half-year results on May 23.

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