Aussie billionaire aims to mine $8bn US fund for coal-to-hydrogen industrial conversion
Tuesday, May 17th, 2022
Twiggy Forrest-owned Fortescue’s project to tap renewable energy on Washington state grid – where surplus hydroelectric power usually exported to Canada and western seaboard – for clean hydrogen production at Centralia site
Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), owned by Australian billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, is planning to convert a former coal mine in US state of Washington into a green hydrogen production facility, using funds it hopes to win from the federal government’s $8bn H2 hub fund, the company said recently.
After signing a binding exclusivity agreement with site developers Industrial Park at TransAlta (IPAT), FFI has now launched a feasibility study into a plan to convert the Centralia coal mine, which closed in 2006, into a 300MW green hydrogen facility.
FFI is rumoured to be targeting production of 110 tonnes of green hydrogen a day from the plant, equal to 40,000 tonnes per year.Billionaire Forrest’s FFI needs 450GW of wind and solar by 2030 to meet its green hydrogen targetRead more
The fuel is earmarked for use in heavy transport, long-haul trucking, ports, aviation, and heavy industry, and FFI plans to staff the project with employees of the nearby Centralia coal-fired power plant, which is due to close in 2025.
Significantly, the project is expected to source power from a portfolio of grid-connected green energy, Recharge understands, rather than dedicated renewable power plants.
Two thirds of grid electricity in the state is sourced from hydropower, with a further 9% sourced from non-hydro renewables, mostly wind and biomass.