The Australian natural resources giant is considering several green hydrogen projects in the Netherlands

A company led by Australia’s second-richest person is stepping up its sprint to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fortescue Future Industries — a subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group, founded by Andrew (Twiggy) Forrest — has signed an agreement with the Miawpukek First Nation to explore the feasibility of a project that would produce green fuels on the southwest coast of Earth- New, from a process involving sea wind and hydraulic.

“We believe this is a big step forward for us to collectively determine the feasibility of whether or not this project will be built successfully and address the environmental and civic concerns that exist with such construction,” Stephen said. Appleton, senior director of FFI in Canada. .

In June 2021, CBC News reported that the company was interested in a similar project at Gull Island in Labrador. FFI says it is now working on both projects, as well as other clean energy projects in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.

Chief Mi’sel Joe said the city has access to a disused icebreaker in case an evacuation is needed. (Darrell Roberts/CBC)

Miawpukek Chief Mi’sel Joe says it’s a big deal for his people, but only if it can be done without harming the environment.

« If that’s something we want to do, given how long we’ve been with Steve’s company, we’ll figure it out, » Joe said Monday. « Nothing will be done tomorrow. First of all, it has to be environmentally friendly. »

The company has registered for an environmental assessment with the provincial government. Joe said he had to meet not only the province’s standards, but also those of Miawpukek.

The announcement came on the eve of a green hydrogen summit in Stephenville, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hosting the German Chancellor and some of Europe’s most influential business leaders, including the CEOs of Bayer, Siemens Energy, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

The Stephenville area is already the proposed home base for a project led by Nova Scotian billionaire John Risley, part of a consortium of companies known as World Energy GH2. The proposed FFI would operate in the same area, also encompassing Port aux Basques and St. George’s.

Several proposed projects in Newfoundland and Labrador would see wind turbines used to produce clean fuels like hydrogen and ammonia. (AFP via Getty Images)

Appleton said the company hopes to complete its environmental impact assessment within the next two months.

When news of FFI’s interest in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2021 broke, the company wasn’t talking. Appleton said he was watching the province with interest « from afar » but decided to make his intentions known after the provincial government ended a moratorium on wind power last April.

The parent company, Fortescue Metals, has a market capitalization of $52.8 billion and is one of the largest iron ore producers in the world.

Appleton said FFI aims to partner with indigenous groups on each of its projects and that they want to be « stewards » of the environment wherever they go. This approach has been met with mixed results by FFI’s parent company when it comes to mining on indigenous lands in Canada and Australia.

Joe said discussions with the group have been positive so far and he likes the approach the company has taken.

« When I look at truth and reconciliation, it comes straight out of the pages of these 94 recommendations, » he said, referring to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations for companies to consult more with Indigenous groups.

Learn more about CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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