October 20, 2021

Fortescue: Delivering ambitious targets

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) achieves its 30 June 2021 decarbonisation targets


  • Fortescue Future Industries delivers on ambitious targets.

Case Study Type

  • Abatement project preparation
  • Abatement project R&D
  • Value chain partnership

Problem being solved

Decarbonising the mining fleet is one of the biggest challenges facing our industry. While electric light vehicles are readily available for the passenger and domestic market, there are currently no large-scale economic or technologically viable vehicles available for our haulage operations. Another challenge is finding alternatives to diesel to operate our locomotives and the ships that transport our ore to our customers.


FFI has established a research and testing facility in Perth, and this facility will become the focal point of innovation and collaboration to accelerate the commercialisation of low emissions solutions. We are investigating the main alternatives to diesel, including battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell options, to ensure we capture the opportunities offered by both technologies.

FFI CEO, Julie Shuttleworth AM said, “We set out to test the hypothesis that there was sufficient 100 per cent renewable green energy, hydrogen, ammonia and industrial manufacturing potential, for products such as green fertiliser, green iron and steel, to fully satisfy the world’s needs. To do so, Fortescue Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, led two significant overseas expeditions alongside 50 area experts, spending more time on the road than at home in the last 12 months. As a result, the Company has confirmed that hypothesis.” Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines said, “We are leading the heavy industry battle against global warming, transitioning from being a major fossil fuel importer to a significant green and renewable energy and product exporter. We are leading by example to decrease emissions across our operations, using our large industrial platform of operating mine sites in the Pilbara to trial and demonstrate technologies in completely renewable green hydrogen, green ammonia, and green electricity."


FFI’s specialist teams have made ground breaking progress including:

  • Successful combustion of ammonia in a locomotive fuel, with a pathway to achieve completely renewable green fuel.
  • Completion of design and construction of a combustion testing device for large marine (ship) engines, with pilot test work underway and a pathway to achieve completely renewable green shipping fuel.
  • Finalised design of a next generation ore carrier (ship) that will consume renewable green ammonia, with the Classification Society giving in principle design approval.
  • Testing of battery cells to be used on Fortescue haul trucks.
  • Design and construction of a hydrogen powered haul truck for technology demonstration complete, with systems testing underway.
  • Design and construction of a hydrogen powered drill rig for technology demonstration complete, with systems testing underway.
  • Successful production of high purity (>97 per cent) green iron from Fortescue ores.
  • Successful initial trialling to use waste from the green iron process noted above, with other easily sourced materials.

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