Image: FFI

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Murihiku Hapu of Ngi Tahu have entered into a collaboration agreement to study and potentially construct a large-scale renewable green hydrogen generation project in Southland, New Zealand.

The project seeks to build a large-scale hydrogen plant in Southland, with the goal of starting production in early 2025 and expanding in stages in the future. The project is subject to an initial review and investment decision by the boards of directors of Fortescue Metals Group Ltd and the New Zealand Investor Boards.

FFI Chief Executive Officer Julie Shuttleworth AM said, “FFI’s goal is to become the world’s leading fully renewable energy and green products company.

“Our work with Murihiku Hapu as representatives of Ngāi Tahu during the early days of this project demonstrates an alignment of our respective values and a common vision for Southland’s and New Zealand’s potential role in leading a green hydrogen transition. We believe our whanaungatanga will ensure a successful future outcome for all New Zealanders.

“FFI recognises, respects and upholds the principles of The Treaty of Waitangi. We recognise Murihiku Hapu’s mana whenua of Southland and greatly value their guidance and contribution to the future success of this project.”

Murihiku Upoko, Tā Tipene O’Regan said, “This project could be one of the world’s first large scale green hydrogen facilities, powered by existing and new renewable energy generation. We hope to support greater New Zealand wide renewable generation investment, while at the same time contributing to the management of New Zealand’s dry-year risk. Despite being a regional opportunity, this project will be developed in New Zealand’s national interest.

“The project could enable the creation of a hub for hydrogen innovation in New Zealand and provide significant economic growth through regional and national hydrogen industry job creation, as well as diversifying and broadening New Zealand’s skilled workforce.

“FFI’s global hydrogen industry leadership and Fortescue’s successful track record of partnering and collaborating to develop large scale, complex capital projects, makes working alongside them an exciting prospect.”

Murihiku Regeneration Programme Director, Terry Nicholas said, “The FFI and Murihiku Regeneration team will be sharing further information with Murihiku and Ngai Tahu Whānui and also the wider Southland community as we progress this project. We are actively engaging across many areas to understand and share in the opportunities this project will provide.”

Nedim Husomanovic

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