Fortescue strengthens target for carbon neutrality by 2030
Fortescue Metals’ subsidiary Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) will be a key enabler of the miner’s carbon neutrality target through the development of green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia projects in Australia.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, commented: “Fortescue has a proud history of setting ambitious stretch targets and we are pleased to announce this new industry-leading target, with detailed planning underway and projects identified to support our operational emissions reduction goals, building on the industry leading initiatives that have previously been announced. We are working towards decarbonising our entire mobile fleet and fixed plant through the next phase of hydrogen and battery electric energy solutions.”
Fortescue is seeking to move from being a major consumer of fossil fuel with a current trajectory of more than 1 billion litres a year of diesel being used across the operations if no remedial action is taken – to a major clean and renewable energy exporter.
Fortescue’s Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest added: “We have joined the global battle to defeat climate change. We are trialling and demonstrating green hydrogen technologies in global-scale commercial environments, while also rapidly evolving into a green hydrogen and electricity producer of similar scale.”
FFI is advancing projects across Australia including Tasmania, to build large-scale renewable energy and green hydrogen production capacity. This will expedite the substitution of green hydrogen and green ammonia for carbon-based fuels. These projects will, with the support of Australia’s governments, contribute to a significant reduction in national carbon emissions.
Through FFI and its highly committed Operations team, Fortescue is undertaking to deliver several key projects by the stretch target of 30 June 2021. This will underpin its pathway to decarbonisation. These projects include:
- Developing a ship design powered by green ammonia and trialling that design in new ammonia engine technology, at scale
- Testing large battery technology in our haul trucks
- Trialling hydrogen fuel cell power for our drill rigs
- Trialling technology on our locomotives to run on green ammonia
- Conducting trials to use renewable energy in the Pilbara to convert iron ore to green iron at low temperatures, without coal.
Gaines concluded: “Each of these projects will contribute to the world’s inexorable march to carbon neutrality. Fortescue will establish that the major steel, truck, train, ship and mobile plant industries can be operated with renewable, environmentally friendly energy. This will be possible as a result of these ground-breaking Fortescue trials.
“Each will be tested by Fortescue using commercial-scale equipment to prove that the demand for direct green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia could one day be as large as the fossil fuel industry.”
Ericsson joins EU’s NEXGEN SIMS sustainable mining project
Ericsson has joined a three-year initiative to develop autonomous, carbon-neutral mining processes supported by 5G connectivity. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the $16mn Next-Generation Carbon-Neutral Pilots for Smart Intelligent Mining Systems (NEXGEN SIMS) project is being coordinated by Swedish mining and infrastructure equipment manufacturer, Epiroc, in cooperation with a range of industry-diverse partners, including: Ericsson, K+S, Boliden, Agnico Eagle Finland, KGHM Polska and Luleå University of Technology.
Comprising mining companies, equipment manufacturers, tech companies and universities, NEXGEN SIMS was launched on May 1. The project will pursue collaborative partnerships across new technologies, methods and processes to increase the efficiency and sustainability of mining operations globally.
Ericsson Dedicated Networks solutions will feature prominently in the consortium. The solutions provide optimal on-site connectivity and supporting positioning for electric mining equipment, autonomous material handling, cross-machine fleet control and more.
NEXGEN SIMS builds on the successful SIMS project, which ran between 2017 and 2020 and played an important role in improving sustainable mining operations. The latest iteration of the project will cover advances in smart mining and mineworker-of-the-future use cases, develop autonomous mine inspection technology to enhance personnel safety and boost productivity, cost-efficiency and sustainability.
Thomas Norén, Head of Dedicated Networks, Ericsson, commented: “Our Ericsson Dedicated Networks solutions bring reliable connectivity and safety to the mines. This in turn enables the implementation of new use-cases that rely on it and that are not possible to realize with legacy mine networks today.”
He added: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has called for global greenhouse gas emissions to be halved by 2030, reaching net-zero before 2050. This goes across all sectors. Ericsson welcomes the opportunity to support dedicated projects to develop carbon free mining processes to directly reduce operational emissions in the mining sector, while creating a safer and more autonomous mining process.”
The full list of project partners is: Ericsson, Boliden, Agnico Eagle Finland, KGHM Polska, K+S and OZ Minerals, Mobilaris MCE, AFRY and KGHM Cuprum; LTU Business, Luleå University of Technology and RWTH Aachen University.