Twiggy sets out vision to take on Chevron

FORTESCUE Metals Group boss Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest has declared he wants to turn his mining company into one of the biggest energy businesses in the world, outlining a plan that would see Fortescue generate 235 gigawatts of renewable energy.
Twiggy sets out vision to take on Chevron Twiggy sets out vision to take on Chevron Twiggy sets out vision to take on Chevron Twiggy sets out vision to take on Chevron Twiggy sets out vision to take on Chevron

Mark Tilly

Journalist

Mark Tilly

"We are building a portfolio of renewable assets, energy producing assets around the world. With scale and innovation, we will be able to ramp up... green hydrogen and green ammonia to deliver low cost energy reliably at industrial scale to customers all over the world," Forrest said via videolink from Paraguay.  

Hoping to challenge the likes of supermajors including Chevron, Forrest told shareholders at today's annual general meeting he will travel to countries struggling with domestic power supply and make agreements with national governments to build new projects. 

He said Fortescue Future Industries, a subsidiary of FMG, has signed early stage agreements with Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to potentially develop hydropower and other renewables projects. 

Forrest said the company engaged with 25 governments, and vowed the company would rival Chevron as a global energy producer, targeting 235GW per year - fivefold the current generation rate of Australia's National Electricity Market. 

He did not set a date as to when he hoped to achieve this milestone. 

FMG itself has been investing heavily into wind, solar and hydrogen to help power its mining facilities as it looks to reach net-zero emissions by 2040. 

It has set a 26% emissions reductions target by 2030 across its Scope 1 and 2 emissions to help it get there. 

"After scientific and personal analysis of the renewable energy resources of our little planet, I can assure you that there is more than enough renewable energy to sustainably and economically supply every person on this planet, from this time forth," Forrest said. 

"It is our job to respectfully use these readily available renewable resources and supply the world's fuel and power at sufficient scale to satisfy the need for abundant, cheap, zero pollutant energy." 

The company has already invested US$250 million in its Pilbara Transmission Project, which involves 275 kilometres of high voltage transmission to transport electricity from its Pilbara Generation Project, which will see the company's mine operations in the region be powered by a combination of wind, solar, battery storage and gas. 

The company has also committed A$1 billion toward decarbonisation and hydrogen research and development through to 2023 as part of its rebranding as a renewable energy/green industry developer, financier and operator. 

Earlier this year the company announced workers at its Christmas Creek iron ore mine would be bussed to work on hydrogen fuel coaches as part of A$32 million project backed by the state government. 

The busses will be supported by the installation of a renewable hydrogen powered refuelling station powered from the Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid project. 

The A$200 million power project is owned and operated by Alinta and consists of a 60MW of solar PV integrated with a 35MW battery storage facility at the Newman gas-fired power station. 

Forrest also owns Squadron Energy, which is persuing a LNG import terminal at Port Kembla in NSW through subsidiary AIE. 

The company said it had underlying EBITDA of US$8.4 billion.