‘Groundbreaking agreement’ to supply green hydrogen from Australia

Fortescue and Covestro agree

The Australian company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) (“Green hydrogen can save us, but waiting for it won’t”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian iron ore giant Fortescue Metals Group, is continuing its high-flying green hydrogen ambitions with a long-term supply agreement with the leading German polymer company Covestro in fact to. According to the letter of intent, FFI wants to supply the equivalent of 100,000 tons of photovoltaically produced green hydrogen and its derivatives, including green ammonia, annually from 2024 – according to Blake Match on January 18, 2022 in the portal pv magazine Australia.

Hydrogen Tanker Truck – Photo © Gerhard Hofmann for Solarify

The agreed amount can the CO2-Reduce emissions from Covestro by 900,000 tons per year. To this end, the current use of gray hydrogen will be replaced by green. While the announcement doesn’t spell out exactly where FFI’s shipments will come from, it does vaguely identify three broad potential regions — Asia, North America, and Europe.

The FFI founder and Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest, one of Australia’s top 10 wealthiest, has already announced ambitious plans to build one of the world’s largest renewable energy portfolios at more than 235 gigawatts. On December 8th, 2021 FFI also has plans with Australia’s leading energy company AGL Energy announced plans to convert New South Wales’ coal-fired power plants in the Hunter Valley to green hydrogen, build the world’s largest electrolyser production facility in Queensland, and construct a 1 gigawatt photovoltaic plant, also believed to be in Queensland, this location is still open. Due to its locational advantages, far north Queensland and Tasmania could be the likely choices.

“This is a groundbreaking collaboration that underscores the power of green hydrogen to accelerate the decarbonization of some of the world’s most energy-intensive industries,” said Forrest. FFI and Covestro share the belief that green hydrogen and green ammonia will play a critical role in enabling companies to meet their climate goals and prevent uncontrolled global warming. “We look forward to working with Covestro to meet their green hydrogen needs,” Forrest continued, “and working with Germany to enable it to become a global leader in decarbonization, green hydrogen and ammonia.” .”

Covestro uses hydrogen and ammonia as raw materials to manufacture its polymers, which are used in sectors ranging from automotive to construction to electronics. Many of these industries are considered difficult to decarbonize without green hydrogen. The company is committed to the energy transition and is looking for alternatives to fossil fuels through renewable energies.

Covestro CEO Markus Steilemann stated that the company is pleased that “FFI shares our vision of the circular economy and is ready to take bold steps to support the much-needed green hydrogen market ramp-up.” “Our collaboration with FFI underscores our commitment to driving the transition to a circular economy and carbon-neutral production. Green hydrogen and its derivatives play a key role for the chemical industry, both as an alternative raw material and as a source of clean energy,” Steilemann continues. The MOU is “an important step in our efforts to offer more sustainable products that also reduce the carbon footprint of our customer industries.”

In a video accompanying the announcement, Forrest described the Australian sunshine as “iconic” and something that could prove to be a “huge export that can create jobs, grow the economy and help save our boiling planet.” FFI has set a goal of producing 150 million tons of green hydrogen by 2030, with production set to increase to 50 million tons per year over the next 10 years.

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