Fortescue Leads Industry in Green Iron & Energy

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KnowESG_Fortescue Leads Industry in Green Iron & Energy
Image courtesy of Fortescue

Fortescue is leading the charge in reducing emissions. Their plan? Decarbonise Australian iron ore operations and deliver green energy solutions worldwide.

Australia's first fully automated electrolyser factory is up and running in Gladstone, Central Queensland. This Gladstone Green Energy Manufacturing (GEM) Centre has the Gladstone Electrolyser Facility (GEF), located within the Gladstone State Development Area. This area is one of 12 state-managed zones overseen by the Coordinator-General, including land owned by Economic Development Queensland.

The first stage of the GEM Centre houses the GEF, capable of churning out over two gigawatts (GW) of electrolysers annually.

Stage two brings a 50MW hydrogen production facility to the table: the Gladstone Proton Exchange Membrane 50MW (PEM50) Project. This facility will be a commercial-scale green hydrogen producer, with the potential to manufacture up to 8,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2025. PEM50 will utilise electrolysers built by the GEF and rely on renewable sources like wind, solar, and water to generate green hydrogen through electrolysis.

Construction on PEM50 kicks off in 2024 with an initial 30MW production capacity. First production of green hydrogen is expected in 2025, with an additional 20MW planned for a second stage, commissioned by 2028.

The GEF and PEM50 projects showcase Fortescue's dedication to refining their hydrogen production systems and demonstrate the feasibility of competitive green hydrogen production in Australia, for both domestic use and export.

Powering Up with Renewables

The Gladstone PEM50 Project will source renewable energy from Australia's National Energy Market. Powerlink Queensland recently installed a new 275kV transmission line to deliver the project's energy needs.

Water supply infrastructure comes courtesy of the Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) and Economic Development Queensland (EDQ). Expansion to 50MW capacity hinges on the system reliability provided by the Fitzroy Gladstone Pipeline (FGP) – currently under construction by the Queensland Government – connecting to the Aldoga Industrial precinct.

The Future of GEM

The GEM facility has plans for further development. Future stages will see specialist production lines tailored to Fortescue's needs and those of their customers. These lines could include additional electrolyser technology production, large-scale testing facilities, hydrogen refuelling and liquefaction stations, and supporting renewable energy infrastructure.

Leading the Way in Queensland

Fortescue's GEM operations are a boon to Queensland's ambition to be a frontrunner in Australia's shift to renewable energy. Over the past three years, Fortescue's Gladstone team has developed local skills, expertise, and partnerships with the Queensland Government, educational institutions, and supply chain service providers. This collaboration sends a clear message to the market: large-scale production is achievable in Australia, and Queensland is a serious contender in the green hydrogen game.

Fortescue remains committed to collaborating with key stakeholders like Central Queensland University, Queensland TAFE, and the Queensland Department of Education. This ensures skills development and training stay relevant, fostering long-term, sustainable economic growth in the hydrogen industry.

To learn more about getting involved in Fortescue's future GEM operations, contact [email protected].

Investing in Australia's Green Future

Fortescue has secured grants from both the State and Federal Governments to support capital expenditures for the stage one (GEF) and stage two (PEM50) project developments.

This financial commitment has helped secure equipment and fund the construction and installation of specialised electrolyser equipment, supporting systems, facilities, and related infrastructure.

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Source: Fortescue

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