A new deal between Fortescue Future Industries and E.ON will see the Australian company deliver 5 million tons of green hydrogen to Germany, the Netherlands, and multiple cities in Europe by 2030.
Fortescue magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has described the deal as “one of the world’s largest energy agreements.” He is setting Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) on a path to deliver approximately one-third of the calorific energy intake Germany currently imports from Russia.
The green, renewable hydrogen will primarily be produced in Australia and shipped to Germany in the form of ammonia. However, the company did flag plans to incorporate “FFI’s other planned global projects,” of which there are many.
The companies say they want to hit the 5 million ton target “as soon as possible.” Germany imports more than 60% of its energy demand, the bulk of which comes from Russia. The country has been badly caught out by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – a problem Forrest emphasised during his press conference.
To make 5 million tons of green hydrogen would require huge amounts of electricity – something Australia has the natural resources to deliver, as Forrest pointed out. “We have enough energy in Australia from a tiny, tiny fraction of our landmass to power all the world,” he said.
E.ON has around 50 million customers, primarily in Germany and the Netherlands. FFI’s green hydrogen will be delivered to them with a specific focus on “medium-sized industrial customers in the regions,” which is where E.ON COO Patrick Lammers said the company is expecting the most hydrogen demand.
With a company target to produce 15 million tons of green hydrogen by 2030, FFI has spent the last year making moves to vertically integrate itself. It plans to open the world’s largest electrolyzer production plant in Queensland, which appears to be powering ahead after securing state government approval and network operator cooperation. The company also plans to build a 1 GW solar PV module manufacturing plant, but the location has not been confirmed.
Fortescue is quickly becoming one of the biggest prospective green hydrogen producer in the world. It has been signing partnership agreements at an equally rapid pace, including a recent deal with Airbus.
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