Australia’s Fortescue FFI sees Texas potential among 5 key projects By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Fortescue Metals Group adorns their headquarters in Perth, Australia, November 11, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group (OTC:) sees green hydrogen production in Texas as likely to be one of five key projects its energy division will decide to invest in this year, the company’s green energy chief said on Wednesday.

The world’s fourth largest iron ore maker is expanding into production of hydrogen from renewable resources, known as green hydrogen, under its Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) unit, and aims to become a global powerhouse in renewable energy.

But after announcing dozens of early stage agreements with governments across the globe over the past few years, FFI has come under criticism for a lack of detail on which projects it may develop and how they attract funding.

FFI Chief Executive Mark Hutchinson said that out of a pipeline of over 100 projects, FFI is on track to determine five that it will make investment decisions on this year, with others to be potentially developed later.

“We have a number of horses in the race. America is going to play a big part, Norway, Australia. And we have another few projects around the world, including in Africa,” he said.

“We have certainty that we will see five by the end of the year.”

FFI was looking at Texas as a destination for green hydrogen production as the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act had made doing business in the country more appealing.

Hutchinson also mentioned an ammonia facility for export markets on Gibson Island that it is building with Incitec Pivot off Australia’s east coast.

Responding to a question about whether Fortescue was keeping cash on hand to fund the developments, founder and Executive Chairman Andrew Forrest said that he expected to find project partners, and that the quality of its customer base will allow the projects to attract bank finance.

Customers will be from Germany, Singapore, Japan and Korea he said, “Our belief is that they will be very bankable.”

Large investors are looking for green projects to fund, but there aren’t sufficient projects around, he added.

“There is an enormous amount of capital out there….The big advantage we have is a pipeline of projects.”

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