Fortescue, an Australian powerhouse, is on the cusp of a groundbreaking stride in green energy as it anticipates a preliminary license for a green hydrogen plant at the Port of Pecém in Ceará, Brazil.
This significant development heralds a transformative journey for Latin America in large-scale renewable fuel production. The endeavor aligns with Brazil’s rich renewable energy potential and signifies Fortescue’s strategic commitment to decarbonization.
Agustín Pichot, Fortescue’s President in Latin America, emphasizes the Brazilian venture’s promise within the company’s global green hydrogen portfolio. Brazil’s abundant renewable resources position it as a burgeoning hub for hydrogen production. The convergence of cheap energy and Fortescue’s efforts to drive down production costs lay the foundation for competitive large-scale hydrogen endeavors.
Pichot envisions Brazil as a potential hydrogen hub, leveraging its vast renewable sources and synergizing them with Fortescue’s green hydrogen pursuits. The project outlines the establishment of a plant featuring 1.2 gigawatt of electrolysis capacity, aimed at producing 900,000 tons of green ammonia—an exportable product with the potential for conversion back into hydrogen in consumer nations.
While Fortescue’s initial focus for green hydrogen and ammonia off-take is Europe, with a memorandum signed with E.ON, the company is also eyeing the booming markets of Asia. Countries like Singapore, Japan, and South Korea are prime candidates for Fortescue’s green hydrogen exports. The company’s strategic partnerships and market exploration underscore the global significance of the green hydrogen revolution.
Fortescue’s mining activities, responsible for being one of the world’s top iron ore producers, are poised to be consumers of the hydrogen produced by the company. This internal integration aligns with Fortescue’s broader decarbonization goals, as the company seeks to synergize its mining prowess with its renewable energy endeavors.
Fortescue’s Brazilian initiative is part of a worldwide series of projects spanning Australia, USA, Kenya, Morocco, and Norway. The challenge of cost optimization remains central, and Pichot acknowledges the pivotal role of incentives in driving the feasibility of green hydrogen projects. Government support, akin to the Inflation Reduction Act in the US, can be the game-changer needed to accelerate the adoption of green hydrogen technologies.