Fortescue plans additional 2 GW to 3 GW of renewables as part of $9.2 billion investment – pv magazine Australia

Australia-based mining giant Fortescue Metals Group announced it will deploy an additional 2GW to 3GW of renewable power generation and battery storage as part of a more than $9 billion plan to decarbonize its ore operations. iron by 2030.

Major resource group Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) said it will invest $9.2 billion ($6.2 billion) to completely phase out fossil fuel use from its iron ore operations to achieve “true zero” emissions by the end of this year. the decade.

Fortescue said most of the capital will be spent between 2024 and 2028 and will include the deployment of an additional 2GW to 3GW of renewable power generation and battery storage and will eliminate its reliance on gas and diesel generation and mobile telephony to diesel. plant, including haul trucks and trains.

The company said studies are also underway to optimize localized wind and solar resources.

Speaking at the United Nations Global Compact in the United States on Tuesday, Fortescue Chief Executive Andrew Forrest said the investment is part of the group’s transformation into a renewables-focused operation.

“Fortescue, FFI (Fortescue Future Industries) and FMG, are moving quickly to transition into a global green metals, minerals, energy and technology company, capable of delivering not only green iron ore but also the minerals, knowledge and technology critical for the energy transition,” he said.

Forrest said Fortescue’s plan “would be an example that a post-fossil fuel era is good business and common sense.”

Fortescue’s true zero ambition concerns the absence of fossil fuels and, wherever possible, offsets.

Image: FMG

“There is no doubt that the energy landscape has changed dramatically in the last two years and this change has accelerated since Russia invaded Ukraine,” he said. “We are already seeing the direct benefits of transitioning away from fossil fuels: we avoided the use of 78 million liters of diesel at our Chichester Center in FY22, but we must accelerate our transition to the post-fossil fuel era. , driving industrial change on a global scale as climate change continues to worsen.”

When fully implemented, the investment is projected to displace 700 million liters of diesel and 15 million gigajoules of gas per year by 2030, avoiding three million tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

It is also expected to allow Fortescue to remove carbon offset purchases from its supply chain as it seeks to reduce emissions to near zero, which they call true zero rather than net zero.

Forrest said the investment would also provide significant economic returns, with forecasts tipping it to deliver net operating cost savings of $1.2 billion ($818 million) a year from 2030.

“This investment in renewable energy and decarbonization is expected to generate attractive economic returns for our shareholders through energy cost savings and a sharp reduction in carbon offset purchases, along with a lower cost-risk profile and a improvement in the integrity of our assets,” he said. he said she.

Fortescue CEO Andrew Forrest.

Image: FFI

The investment builds on Fortescue’s announcement in February 2022 to build a 5.4GW solar PV, wind and battery storage project to power its iron ore mining operations in northwest Western Australia.

The Uaroo renewable energy hub would comprise a 3.33 GW solar farm and a 2.04 GW wind farm spread over approximately 10,000 hectares in the Pilbara region of the state. The hub would also include a battery with a storage capacity of 9.1 GWh.

FFI continued in March with plans to work with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) to develop the world’s first regenerative battery electric iron ore train.

Fortescue said Tuesday that feasibility studies are progressing, with delivery of the first parabolic (gravity-driven) drive trains to Infinity locomotives scheduled to be operational by the end of 2026.

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