PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Iron-ore major Fortescue Metals’ green energy arm, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) will invest $80-million in a partnership with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to create green jobs in America and advance green hydrogen production and technologies.
This relationship will catalyse hundreds of millions of dollars of value and investment in the North American energy transition and economy.
FFI expects to invest $80-million over 10 years in research projects with NREL, and the collaboration has the potential to create more than 350 high-quality research, engineering, and management jobs.
FFI said on Tuesday that combined with the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), this investment is expected to catalyse a strong increase in manufacturing in the green industrial ecosystem, which much be established if the world is to change to a zero-pollution future.
Beyond the direct 350 science and technology careers, this initiative is expected to, upon the commercialisation of technology to the world, lower emissions and indirectly create thousands of new jobs in science, technology, manufacturing and green energy.
“NREL’s dream is to have its green technology commercialised. Our dream is to commercialise their green technology,” said Fortescue executive chairperson Dr Andrew Forrest.
“We are planning this investment because of NREL’s exemplary scientific and research competence in this technology and because of the world-leading green investment environment in America due to the IRA.”
Fortescue head of North America Andy Vesey said the company was now examining capability at national scale for solar technology, battery and electrolyser manufacturing in America.
“This will be complemented by our deep integration into the American science and technology community.
“America is now the best place for green hydrogen investment. This will create and save jobs for Americans and reduce emissions.”
Fortescue has a world leading fully costed construction plan to reach real zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030. This strategy will eliminate three-million tonnes of carbon per annum from the atmosphere and save the company $818-million a year. The work undertaken through this partnership will contribute to this mission.
Alongside the NREL collaboration and establishment of Technology Hub, FFI also has plans to establish further collaborative research relationships with the Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, as well as other leading research labs and universities across the USA.
The initial term of the collaboration between NREL and FFI will be three years, with the ability to extend the term to create a long-term relationship.
The announcement builds on FFI’s new US Technology Hub, based in the burgeoning green energy research and development community of Colorado.