Fortescue has hit ‘go’ on its state-of-the-art hydrogen electrolyser plant in Gladstone, Queensland.

The plant was commissioned two years ago to produce two gigawatts of proton exchange membrane electrolyser stacks annually.

Fortescue chair Andrew Forrest was understandably chuffed to cut the ribbon on the new facility.

“We are grateful for the Queensland and Federal Governments’ vision and early support in helping us get started”, Mr Forrest said.

“Together, we have laid the cornerstone for what will be a massive new manufacturing industry in Australia, creating the potential for thousands of new green energy jobs”.

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In recent times, Fortescue has been making headway as a domestic original equipment manufacturer or OEM, in addition to its mining operations.

According to Mark Hutchinson, Fortescue’s Energy chief executive officer, while splitting hydrogen and oxygen isn’t new, the innovative ways the world is looking to use green hydrogen to decarbonise are.

“That means the demand for green hydrogen and for the electrolysers to produce it is growing rapidly”, he said.

Hydrogen produced at the facility will be used in many applications, including as fuel for heavy-duty mining equipment.

Fortescue’s Green Energy Manufacturing Centre is being developed on the 100-hectare site, with the electrolyser plant being the first stage.


Rio Tips in for New Mining Tech

Mining major Rio Tinto has committed almost $15 million to support the development and commercialisation of breakthrough mining technologies.

As part of the Founder Factory, a global entrepreneurship hub and start-up investor, Rio will invest $14.4 million in start-ups over the next several years.

With a special focus on safe mines, decarbonisation, exploration and automation technologies, the Founders Factory will support its start-ups with cash investment and the prospect of participating in a four-month accelerator program.

Simon Trott, Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive, is a staunch supporter of technology development in mining and has highlighted its bright future, particularly in Western Australia.

“Our iron ore operations in the Pilbara are among the most technologically advanced in the world”, Mr Trott said.

“This exciting new partnership gives us the opportunity to build on our innovative legacy, unlock new technologies, and help our business find better ways to provide the materials the world needs”.

WA Premier Roger Cook called the funding a boon for the state and expressed his excitement for the partnership.

He said, “Securing the internationally renowned Founders Factory for Perth is a major coup for our state”.

“This is the first time the tech accelerator has operated in Australia, providing a springboard for innovative local businesses to reach an international audience and maximise their chances of success”.


Albanese Puts Net Zero Future into Law

The Australian Government has signed into law the country’s first Net Zero Economy Authority.

Set to form part of the Prime Minister’s department, the Authority will act as an independent statutory body.

The body aims to ensure a fair and equitable division of benefits for Australia’s workers and regions from the net-zero economy.

The Net Zero Economy Authority will monitor the energy transition and facilitate private and public investment, significant project development, and job creation.

Skills and community development remain central to its mission.

Mr Albanese lauded Australia’s position as an emerging global energy powerhouse.

“There is no nation on earth better placed than Australia to achieve the energy transition here at home and power it in the world”, he said.

“We are home to every metal and critical mineral essential to net zero. Our workforce is skilled and valued, our safety standards are the highest globally, and we have a proven track record as a reliable producer and exporter of energy and resources”.

The Net Zero Economy Authority aims to play an essential role in the energy transition, a significant economic event in Australian history, and position the country as a renewable energy superpower.


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