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FFI flies through June targets

Fortescue chairperson Andrew Forrest

Fortescue chairperson Andrew Forrest

Photo by Bloomberg

6th July 2021

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The energy arm of iron-ore major Fortescue, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), on Tuesday announced that it had completed all of its key projects targeted for June 30, as part of its initial decarbonisation target.

FFI in March this year announced several key projects, including developing a ship design powered by green ammonia and trialling this design at scale, testing large battery technology in its haul trucks along with hydrogen fuel cells for its drill rigs, trialling green ammonia technology for its locomotives, and conducting trials to use renewable energy in the Pilbara to convert iron-ore to green iron or at low temperatures and without coal.

FFI on Tuesday said that its specialist teams had made ground-breaking progress including the successful combustion of ammonia in locomotive fuel, with a pathway to achieve completely renewable green fuel, completion of design and construction of a combustion testing device for large marine engines, with pilot test work underway and a pathway to achieve completely renewable green shipping fuel, while also finalising design of a next generation ore carrier that would consume renewable green ammonia, with the Classification Society giving in principle design approval.

Furthermore, FFI has tested battery cells to be used on Fortescue haul trucks, completed design and construction of a hydrogen powered haul truck for technology demonstration, and completed design and construction of a hydrogen powered drill rig for technology demonstration, with systems testing for both of these systems under way.

FFI has also successfully produced high purity green iron from Fortescue ores at low temperature in a continuous flow process, and has successfully trialled the use of waste from the green iron process with other easily sourced materials, to make green cement.

“Fortescue is delighted by these results. We have been mulling over hydrogen for more than a decade, becoming confident that hydrogen could be stored and transported as a zero-carbon fuel several years ago,” FFI CEO Julie Shuttleworth said.

"We set out to test the hypothesis that there was sufficient 100% renewable green energy, hydrogen, ammonia and industrial manufacturing potential, for products such as green cement, green fertilizer, green iron and steel, to fully satisfy the world's needs. To do so, Fortescue chairperson Dr Andrew Forrest led two significant overseas expeditions alongside 50 area experts, spending more time on the road than at home in the last 12 months. As a result, the company has confirmed that hypothesis.

"To demonstrate this within Fortescue, we set ambitious decarbonisation targets for our own heavy industry. These are being driven by FFI’s Green Team, who are aiming to eliminate carbon emissions from our own operations. This work commenced in earnest only several months ago and the results have been immense.”

Shuttleworth said that FFI’s Green Team had established a major facility at Hazelmere in Perth, where FFI has been managing and trialing technology on hydrogen, ammonia and battery power for trains, ship engines, haul trucks and drill rigs for technology demonstration.

"Our dedicated specialist teams have worked relentlessly to bring our own heavy industry decarbonisation into reality,” she said.

Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines said Fortescue was leading the heavy industry battle against global warming, transitioning from being a major fossil fuel importer to a significant green and renewable energy and product exporter.

“We are leading by example to decrease emissions across our operations, using our large industrial platform of operating mine sites in the Pilbara to trial and demonstrate technologies in completely renewable green hydrogen, green ammonia and green electricity.

“All of us at Fortescue are committed to its decarbonisation. Our great progress to date and our ongoing projects underpin Fortescue’s plan to become a major renewable energy and industry product exporter. As part of this plan, we are aiming to meet or beat our internal global industry-leading target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030,” Gaines said.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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