Fortescue and E.ON strive to deliver green hydrogen to Europe

E.ON

Image credit: FFI.

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and E.ON, a large European energy network and infrastructure operator, have set out to deliver up to five million tonnes per annum of green, renewable hydrogen (GH2) to Europe by 2030. 

The partners signed a MoU to execute this ambition, with each side committing to a research and study partnership. The partnership marks E.ON’s and FFI’s broader ambition to decarbonise Europe and strengthen green energy supply security, particularly in light of the need to reduce energy dependency on Russian fossil fuels. 

Five million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of renewable GH2 is equal to approximately one third of the calorific energy Germany imports from Russia. 

The two companies will work together in the spirit of the Australia-Germany Hydrogen Accord announced in June 2021 at the G7. The aim is to ramp up to five million tonnes per annum of GH2 by 2030. 

This will help to decarbonise thousands of medium-sized enterprises all over Germany and the Netherlands, as well as other European cities and communities to which E.ON distributes energy, FFI founder and chairman Dr Andrew Forrest said. 

“The announcement of this historic partnership today aims to diversify the future energy security in Europe,” he said. “Green energy will reduce fossil fuel consumption dramatically in Germany and quickly help substitute Russian energy supply, while creating a massive new employment intensive industry in Australia. This is a cohesive and urgently needed part of the green industrial revolution underway here in Europe.”  

The intention is that Australia’s renewable resources will produce the renewable GH2 along with FFI’s other planned global projects – and distributed by E.ON. 

The parties will also analyse potential solutions for infrastructure issues and to build a secure value chain. 

“We are rapidly establishing the building blocks across Australia and globally that will allow us to develop and fully integrate our world leading green technologies, manufacturing capabilities and green energy generation and distribution,” Fortescue Metals Group (FFI parent company) CEO Elizabeth Gaines said. 

“From the beginning of FFI our philosophy was to drive performance across the entire new renewable GH2 value chain. Today’s important announcement in Europe is not just signalling to the global marketplace that now is the time to make renewable GH2. It is also a decisive step forward in FFI’s journey to become one of the world’s largest green energy producers.” 

According to E.ON CEO, Leo Birnbaum, the company is driving the green energy transition in Europe forward. 

“Renewable GH2 is a key element to achieving this task, while at the same time contributing to a secure and affordable future energy supply. Our partnership with FFI is an important milestone on this path,” he said. 

“Two major international companies are joining forces to build a “hydrogen bridge” from Australia to Germany and the Netherlands, based on shared values and the joint capability of realising the scale of such a project. Two together make decarbonisation possible for many, which is an encouraging message, especially in these days.”