Fortescue shares climb amid Australian first for clean energy

Fortescue has taken an important step with its green energy efforts.

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The Fortescue Ltd (ASX: FMG) share price has lifted today after the mining giant announced the opening of its Gladstone green energy facility.

Fortescue may be best known as an ASX iron ore share, but it's also working on various green energy initiatives. At the time of writing, Fortescue shares are up 1.21%, trading at $25.08.

Fortescue opens electrolyser facility

The new electrolyser manufacturing facility in Gladstone, Queensland, is one of the first globally to house an automated assembly line, according to Fortescue.

It's a 15,000 sqm manufactured facility with the capacity to produce over 2GW of "proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser stacks annually."

Fortescue teams in Australia and the United States designed the facility's electrolysers in-house, making Fortescue an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

The miner noted that the Queensland government supported the development site, including the provision of an electrical substation, road network, communications and local scheme water connection, as well as the allocation of land. The Australian federal government also contributed $44 million from the Collaboration Stream of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative.

This facility is the first stage of a wider green energy manufacturing centre being developed by Fortescue on the 100-hectare Gladstone site. The centre includes a hydrogen system testing facility and Fortescue's PEM50 green hydrogen project. The facility and wider centre will underpin more than 300 direct and indirect jobs.

And the bigger the green energy division becomes, the larger the influence on the Fortescue share price it could have.

Management commentary

Fortescue executive chair and founder Dr Andrew Forrest welcomed the milestone, saying:

We are grateful for the Queensland and Federal Government's vision and early support to help get us started.

Together we have laid the cornerstone for what will be a massive new manufacturing industry in Australia creating the potential for thousands of new green energy jobs.

Fortescue Energy Division CEO Mark Hutchinson explained the company's hydrogen plans:

The process of splitting hydrogen and oxygen isn't new – but the innovative ways the world is looking to use green hydrogen to decarbonise are, and that means demand for green hydrogen and for the electrolysers to produce it is growing rapidly.

This facility positions Fortescue and Gladstone as a large-scale producer of what will be an increasingly sought-after commodity in the global shift to green energy.

We're strategically focussed on building out our Energy business. Not only are we developing a pipeline of green energy projects, we're also now designing and manufacturing the specialised equipment and technology that will underpin our green hydrogen projects and that of others.

Hutchinson also said it would keep investing in new electrolyser technologies to give Fortescue the "best possible competitive position".

Fortescue share price snapshot

The Fortescue share price has fallen 15% since the start of 2024, but it has increased 12% in the last 12 months.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has positions in Fortescue. 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 Scott Phillips.

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