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Australian renewable green energy company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and E.ON, one of Europe’s largest operators of energy networks and energy infrastructure and a provider of innovative customer solutions for 50 million customers, partner on a journey to deliver up to five million tonnes per annum of green, renewable hydrogen (GH2) to Europe by 2030.
Both partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to execute this ambition, with binding elements between the parties to deliver on this mission. Each side has committed to a research and study partnership, with further detailed documentation and steps required related to supply.
This historic partnership marks E.ON’s and FFI’s broader ambition to lead the decarbonization of Europe and to strengthen the security of the green energy supply at a time when Europe needs to reduce its energy dependence on fossil fuels from Russia as quickly as possible. Five million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of renewable GH2 is equal to approximately one-third of the calorific energy Germany imports from Russia.
The agreement was signed in Berlin by Dr. Andrew Forrest, Chairman of FFI, and Patrick Lammers, COO of E.ON, in the presence of Michael Kellner, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and Australia’s Ambassador to Germany Philip Green. The two companies are together in the spirit of the Australia-Germany Hydrogen Accord signed in June 2021 at the G7.
Both companies will work together, in collaboration with their governments, regarding how to achieve supply as fast as possible. Both aim to ramp up quickly to five million tonnes per annum of GH2 by 2030. This will help to decarbonize 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.
“The announcement of this historic partnership today aims to diversify the future energy security in Europe. Green energy will reduce fossil fuel consumption dramatically in Germany and quickly help substitute the Russian energy supply, while creating a massive new employment intensity industry in Australia. This is a cohesive and urgently needed part of the green industrial revolution underway here in Europe,” said Dr. Andrew Forrest, Chairman, and Founder of FFI.
German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck said “The race for large scale production and transportation of green hydrogen has taken off. The agreement between E.ON and FFI is a major step forward and puts them in a pole position for the delivery of green hydrogen to the German industry. I congratulate the two companies and I strongly welcome their contribution to a future without fossil fuels. We will keep fostering initiatives like this one within the German-Australian Energy Partnership.”
It is intended that such large amounts of renewable GH2 will be powered by Australia’s immense renewable resources as well as FFI’s other planned global projects, and will be distributed by E.ON. The parties have also agreed to work together to analyze what solutions could look like to solve infrastructure issues and to build a secure value chain.
“We cannot keep gambling our energy security and the planet’s future on fossil fuels. Green hydrogen is the practical, implementable solution to decarbonize and lower emissions,” said Julie Shuttleworth, CEO of FFI.
“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. 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 but is also an exciting step forward in FFI’s journey to becoming one of the world’s largest green energy producers,” said Elizabeth Gaines, CEO of Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG), the parent company of FFI.
“E.ON is decisively driving forward the green energy transition in Europe and is fully committed to sustainability and climate protection. 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. 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 realizing the scale of such a project. Two together make decarbonization possible for many, which is an encouraging message, especially these days”, said Leo Birnbaum, CEO of E.ON.
“We are foreseeing a rapidly increasing demand for renewable GH2, especially in our industrial “Mittelstand” client base in the regions we serve. Therefore, we look forward to unlocking the potential of this totally green, climate-friendly energy source for our customers and are pleased to work towards building a secure value chain with a strong partner like FFI. Together our ambition is to quickly diversify the energy system in Germany and the Netherlands”, said Patrick Lammers, COO of E.ON.