FFI and Firstgas to investigate hydrogen projects in NZ

Fortescue Metals Group’s green energy business, Fortescue Future Industries, has announced a non-binding memorandum of understanding with New Zealand gas network operator Firstgas to explore the commercial potential of green hydrogen.

Fortescue said in a statement on Monday that they would undertake feasibility studies to understand the “technical, commercial and operational parameters of opportunities” attached to potential projects. 

Firstgas owns and runs NZ’s biggest gas network, with over 2,500 kilometres of high-pressure transmission pipelines and 4,800 kilometres of distribution pipelines in the North Island. It counts over 300,000 homes and businesses as its customers.

In March 2021 it announced plans to introduce hydrogen blended into its supply from 2030 and then run 100 per cent hydrogen by 2050.

The feasibility studies would include assessing the use of existing energy assets.

“Partnering with companies like Firstgas enables us to combine FFI’s global experience and expertise in green hydrogen, with strong local knowledge and existing infrastructure,” said Felicity Underhill, FFI’s Director of Australia East and New Zealand. 

“We’re particularly inspired by the strong alignment of purpose between FFI and Firstgas to help decarbonise New Zealand.” 

FFI’s has begun construction of an electrolyser manufacturing facility in Gladstone, which it says will be the world’s largest. It will have an initial capacity of two gigawatts a year.

Picture: Fortescue Future Industries

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