The Biden administration in the United States has announced seven regional Hydrogen Hubs to receive US$7bn of government funding including funding for Australia’s Fortescue.
The company has been selected to begin award negotiations as part of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) development of the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub.
The hub is estimated to receive up to US$1 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, in part to establish Fortescue’s proposed green hydrogen production facility in Centralia, WA.
The OCED funding would support Fortescue’s participation in the Hydrogen Hub through the advancement of planning, detailed design, environmental permitting, and procurement of long-lead equipment.
Fortescue Executive Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest said: “There is no place better in the world to be investing in renewable and green energy projects right now than the United States.
“Federal funding like this, alongside other incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, go a long way to helping reduce risk and accelerate the wide-spread production of green hydrogen.
“In turn this will catalise substantial private sector investment, creating new good paying jobs and economic prosperity for Americans, particularly those in economically vulnerable communities in the Pacific Northwest.”
Fortescue’s project in Centralia, WA is to be sited on a remediated coal mine adjacent to Washington’s last coal-fired power plant, scheduled to retire permanently in 2025.
The proposed facility will produce green hydrogen at scale for use locally in the Pacific Northwest in heavy-duty transportation, grid reliability, maritime, industrial processes, and other hard-to-abate sectors.
The project is in the design stage, with full permitting to follow.
Project construction is anticipated to start in 2026 and continue into 2028, subject to a Final Investment by the Fortescue board.
Picture: Andrew Forrest