FFI urges for green hydrogen decisiveness

One of the foremost proponents of clean fuel believes that major investment decisions need to be made by green hydrogen producers right away if climate targets are to be realized.

According to Guy Debelle, chief financial officer at Fortescue Future Industries, the demand outlook for the cleanest type of hydrogen, produced using renewable energy, is still unknown. There is also uncertainty around the size of a “green premium” that consumers will be willing to pay.

It would be too late if we waited until the market arrived, he claimed. Debelle emphasized the need of taking such a risk at a conference held in Sydney by UBS Group AG.

Fortescue Future Industries has signed numerous memorandums of understanding on supply in order to meet its 2030 goal of producing 15 million tons of green hydrogen, and on Monday the company revealed a plan to investigate producing green hydrogen with Indonesian steelmaker PT Gunung Raja Paksi.

A green ammonia plant in Brisbane, which is FFI’s most advanced project, is entering the capital expenditure phase, according to Debelle, a former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. The company’s most ambitious proposal calls for supplying 5 million tons of hydrogen annually to European utility EON SE by 2030, but it would necessitate the construction of hundreds of gigawatts of renewable energy.

According to Debelle, there is no scarcity of funding for FFI’s hydrogen projects, and the organization is in talks with banks and other international equity investors.

Debelle departed the RBA this year to join FFI despite being widely expected to become its next governor. He chose this course of action in order to make a “concrete” difference in the climate catastrophe. Andrew Forrest, the chairman of Fortescue and a leading proponent of hydrogen, formed FFI.