What’s the latest on Fortescue Future Industries and green hydrogen?

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) continues to make progress.

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The Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) business within Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) has made more progress when it comes to green hydrogen.

FFI is looking to take a global leadership position in the renewable energy and green products industry and has a vision to make green hydrogen the most globally traded seaborne commodity in the world.

Hydrogen deal in the UK

With a lot of action happening around the climate conference, COP26, Fortescue Future Industries has signed a deal to become the largest supplier of green hydrogen to the UK with a multi-billion pound contract deal with the construction giant J C Bamford Excavators (JCB) and Ryze Hydrogen.

JCB and Ryze will buy 10% of FFI’s global green hydrogen production, under a signed memorandum of understanding.

FFI’s hydrogen production is anticipated to grow to 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030, accelerating to 50 million tonnes per year in the next decade.

Under the partnership, FFI will lead the green hydrogen production and logistics to the UK, whilst JCB and Ryze will manage green hydrogen distribution and development of customer demand in the UK.

Fortescue Future Industries said that the deal was “strongly backed” and that JCB called it a “major advance”.

An extended offtake agreement will also be evaluated to provide green hydrogen to the European market, and the parties have agreed to evaluate collaboration opportunities to accelerate green hydrogen demand and establish green hydrogen and green industry manufacturing centres.

What projects are JCB and Ryze working on?

Jo Bamford, which Fortescue Future Industries said is widely regarded as the UK’s green hydrogen champion, is the founder of Ryze and owner of Wrightbus. Ryze is building the UK’s first network of green hydrogen production plants, while Wrightbus built the world’s first hydrogen double decker.

FFI quoted the JCB Chairman, Lord Bamford, said:

This is an important step towards getting green hydrogen to the customer. It’s fine having an engine powered by green hydrogen, but no good if customers can’t get green hydrogen to fuel their machines. This is a major advance on the road towards making green hydrogen a viable solution.

At best, any hydrogen made from fossil fuel is being promoted as a transition fuel, but the production of it causes more pollution than it saves. This agreement demonstrates that green hydrogen does not need to be ‘transitioned’ via fossil fuel hydrogen. Production of it can commence at once, to meet the needs of all mobility. I have asked Andrew to deliver to me immediately that he has the capacity, and he has agreed.

How much will this the planet?

The FFI Chair Dr Andrew Forrest explained that the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with replacing fossil fuel with only two million tonnes of green hydrogen is the equivalent of taking over 8 million cars off the road, which equates to around a quarter of the UK’s entire fleet.

Dr Forrest also said:

Our agreement signals the first major shift in the global commercial landscape from fossil fuels towards the real, practical, implementable solution that is green hydrogen.

Fortescue Future Industries has announced a number of other initiatives this year, including the construction of a global green energy manufacturing centre in Gladstone, Queensland. The first stage development is an electrolyser factory with an initial capacity of two gigawatts.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of Fortescue Metals Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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