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Fortescue Future Industries signs Option Agreement with TasPorts for land and operating access for green hydrogen plant

Media Release 22 June 2021
Tasmania coastline

Australian Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd (FFI) has signed an Option Agreement with Tasmanian Ports Corporation Pty Ltd (TasPorts) to exclusively negotiate all land and operating access requirements for its proposed 250 megawatt (MW) green hydrogen plant in Bell Bay in Northern Tasmania, marking an important milestone in the development of this world leading project.

FFI CEO, Julie Shuttleworth AM said, “We are excited to be working with local communities and all stakeholders to develop this important opportunity for the future prosperity of Tasmania and a world that needs to decarbonise.

“FFI’s Tasmania green hydrogen project could be one of the world’s largest green hydrogen plants when commissioned, creating a significant export market for green hydrogen from Australia.

“The signing of this agreement with TasPorts marks the beginning of a ground-breaking partnership, aiming for the first export of green hydrogen from an Australian port.

“After investing in research and feasibility studies, we are serious about utilising Tasmania’s comparative advantage in renewable energy generation,” Ms Shuttleworth said.

The project is targeted for an investment decision by the Fortescue Board in 2021.

As highlighted in the Tasmanian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan, Tasmania is well-positioned for the development of a green hydrogen industry due to the State’s low-cost, reliable renewable energy and excellent port and water infrastructure.

TasPorts CEO, Anthony Donald, said, “TasPorts is excited to welcome FFI to Bell Bay as part of its commitment to support future hydrogen development in northern Tasmania.

“Consistent with TasPorts’ role as a critical enabler of trade for the benefit of Tasmania, TasPorts is pleased to be playing a role in facilitating emerging industries and export opportunities at Bell Bay.”

The Tasmania project envisages the construction of a 250 MW green hydrogen plant at the Bell Bay Industrial Precinct, with the capacity to produce 250,000 tonnes of green ammonia per year for domestic use and international export.

An economic analysis completed by Deloitte found that the first 250MW stage could deliver a net $2 billion increase to gross state product over the life of the project. This benefit would be spread across Tasmanian businesses and local jobs, with an estimated creation of over 500 full time jobs during the development, construction and operation stages of the project and FFI will shortly release an Expression of Interest for the skills and jobs required across these project stages.

FFI is committed to ensuring Australian communities’ benefit from its success. FFI plans to commence community engagement sessions in late July 2021.