MELBOURNE, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Fortescue Metals Group
said on Tuesday it was assessing prospects to build an
ammonia plant in the southern island state of Tasmania, as part
of its push to become a major renewable energy producer.
The project would include a 250-megawatt hydrogen plant at
the Bell Bay Industrial Precinct with green ammonia production
capacity of 250,000 tonnes per year for domestic and
international export, Fortescue said in a statement.
Bell Bay is about 41 km (26 miles) northwest of the city of
The project is targeted for an investment decision by the
Fortescue Board in 2021, the company said.
Fortescue founder and chairman, billionaire Andrew Forrest
last week outlined plans for the miner's wholly owned Fortescue
Future Industries (FFI) unit to build a renewable energy
business, aiming to compete with oil companies to provide
low-cost green energy globally.
Already used in the fertiliser industry, ammonia is expected
to play a role as a clean power source, potentially as a
chemical store for excess renewable energy, and in the shipping
industry as a fuel that only emits water and nitrogen.
One way of making green ammonia is through using hydrogen
from water electrolysis and nitrogen separated from the air in a
process powered by renewable electricity.
The plant has the potential to be one of the world's biggest
green hydrogen projects and will be powered by Tasmanian
renewable energy, Fortescue said.
FFI's plans to have 235 gigawatts (GW) of installed energy
capacity although did not provide a timeline.
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Christian