Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) is planning to increase its electrolyser manufacturing output because its 2GW factory being built in Queensland, Australia, will not be sufficient to meet demand, according to the company’s new chief executive, Mark Hutchinson.
“We’ll announce over the next few months some big investments in some plants,” he told Bloomberg, pointing out that the capacity of its Queensland factory — being built in a joint venture with US manufacturer Plug Power — is “going to be too small because the demand is going to be enormous”.
FFI — the green hydrogen subsidiary of Australian iron-ore billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) — plans to produce 15 million tonnes of renewable H2 annually by 2030, and already has supply agreements in place with German utility E.ON and UK industrial machinery giant JCB.
“Once we get going at scale and just looking at the projects we have, it’s enormous,” said Hutchinson, a former CEO of GE Europe. Meeting the 15-million-tonne target would create an “energy business way bigger than the iron ore business”, he added.
That would be some feat. FMG, the world’s fourth-largest iron-ore producer, has a market capitalisation of A$50.53bn ($34.33bn), and it has enabled its founder to become Australia’s richest man, with a net worth of $17.8bn, according to the Forbes 2022 rich list.
“When I think about how big this market is, it’s as big as replacing the entire fossil fuel market in the world, and it’s real now,” added Hutchinson.
Here, you can watch mad scientist Rick Sanchez gorily decapitate a giant alien worm using a green-hydrogen-powered mechanical suit (see YouTube video above) and find out the answer to the question: “Who the F is FFI?”.