The Anonymous Widower

The Australian Tycoon With Designs On U.S. Coal Mines

The title of this post, is the same as that as this article on Politico.

The article is a must-read, as it is an interview with Andrew Forrest about his very strong views on the future of the coal industry in the United States.

This is a typical question from the interview and Forrest’s forthright answer.

Biden put jobs at the center of his climate messaging. Does the messenger actually need to be someone with a track record of creating jobs?

It’s a bloody good point. I think I can deliver that message much stronger, because I’m not a politician. I’m not looking for votes, this is the hardcore reality.

August 11, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rio Tinto’s Big Energy Project Attracts Multiple Bidders

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Mining Technology.

The article has this subtitle.

The company seeks to offset its power consumption with a massive renewable plant.

These two paragraphs introduce the project.

British and Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has attracted multiple bids for a massive renewable power infrastructure project.

The company currently seeks suppliers to build up to 4GW of renewable generation for its alumina and aluminium operations in Queensland, Australia. Speaking to the Melbourne Mining Club, the company’s CEO of Australia, Kellie Parker, said that it had received proposals for “a lot more than 4GW”. Parker also said that construction of the project “would not be easy” due to the cost of construction for Australian projects.

In the UK, we may talk of wind farms like Hornsea, which could produce 6 GW, but the Aussies can produce similar amounts of energy from the sun.

This will be the fourth major renewable power development in Australia to be announced in the last few months.

Australia is certainly looking to power the world.

Energy Storage

Rio Tinto are also talking about energy storage, as other systems of this type and size do. Could this be one of a number of Australian projects mentioned on the Highview Power web site?

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian Mining Billionaire Touts A Green Revolution In U.S. Coal Country — With Skepticism Trailing Close Behind

The title of this post, is the same as this article on Forbes.

It is a definite must-read about Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, making one of the most difficult hydrogen pitches in the world, to coal miners in West Virginia.

Perhaps we need Mr Forrest to convince the RMT, that their views are wrong and so nineteenth century.

June 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Hydrogen Magnate Forrest Sanctioned By Russia After Calling Putin A ‘Murderer’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Recharge.

Andrew Forest’s reply or the part that can be printed included.

You’re not worth talking to unless you’ve been sanctioned

I think that to many experts, Forrest’s plans for green hydrogen are one of the biggest threats to Russia’s oil industry.

June 17, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could Fortescue Future Industries’ Green Hydrogen Help Europe Ditch Russian Energy?

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Motley Fool Australia.

This is the first paragraph.

Green hydrogen may help interrupt the Kremlin’s ability to conduct “war games”, says Fortescue chief Andrew Forrest.

I very much think that Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest is right.

My last three hydrogen articles were.

If the projects in these articles don’t blow the bottom out of the market for Russia’s bloodstained gas, with a little bit of help from Twiggy’s hydrogen kanganaut, then I’ll be very surprised. Especially, as countries like Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Jordan, Japan, Kenya, Namibia, Morocco, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United States are all planning to produce green hydrogen in large quantities.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Twiggy Save The World?

This article on the Sydney Morning Herald is entitled ‘No One’s Married To Coal’: How Forrest Is Taking On The World To Save The Climate.

The article is the story of Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s Damascene conversion to hydrogen.

 

These three paragraphs sums up Andrew Forrest‘s vision and ambitions.

Forrest’s companies, including its mining arm, Fortescue, and its green energy arm, Fortescue Future Industries, would be net zero by 2030. This would necessitate inventing and then developing hydrogen-powered trucks, trains and ships. This way the mining operation would avoid burning up to a billion litres in diesel a year.

The project would include the construction of vast solar and wind power stations in the Pilbara that would create green hydrogen to first fuel the trains, trucks and ships of the iron ore empire and then for export to a clean-energy starved world. The electrolysers needed to make the hydrogen for the early phases of the plan would be built by a vast new factory in Queensland, that itself would double the global supply of the machines.

Hydrogen would soon become the world’s largest shipborne trade. The Fortescue revolution would occur at a blistering pace set by the demands of addressing global warming, and it would be done for profit, to remove the excuses of governments and businesses that objected to ambitious climate action.

Note.

  1. How many other companies are intending to be net-zero by 2030?
  2. Certainly not many Chinese, German or Russian companies.
  3. And how many companies have planned to achieve net-zero at a profit?

If Forrest achieves his ambitions, the world will be a much better place.

April 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Forrest Snaps Up Pilbara And Gascoyne Cattle Stations For Green Energy Production

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

This is the first paragraph.

Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has continued his land acquisition in Western Australia, purchasing another three cattle stations in the state’s north-west to generate renewable energy.

These are some points for the article.

  • Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries has purchased three cattle stations in northern WA
  • The stations will continue to run stock, and contribute to the production of green energy
  • FFI says it is looking at other parts of WA to acquire land for similar projects
  • The energy created will be used to decarbonise Andrew Forrest’s mining operations by 2030.
  • A renewable hub of 340 wind turbines alongside solar panels will be created, which will generate 5 GW of energy.
  • The possibility of offshore energy is mentioned.
  • There is no mention of energy storage.

I have a few thoughts.

For A Reliable 5 GW Of Energy, Storage Is Surely Needed

I would think that this is probably understood by Fortescue Future Industries and given their ambitions for hydrogen, this must surely be part of an energy storage strategy.

Will Hydrogen Be Exported By Fortescue Future Industries From Australia?

I would expect this depends on three things.

  • How much green energy is generated.
  • The energy needs of Andrew Forrest’s mining companies.
  • How much hydrogen can be sold in Australia.

Fortescue Future Industries will certainly have the market, if they have a surplus.

How Much Energy Will Fortescue Future Industries Generate Per Hectare?

This paragraph from the article gives useful information.

The hub would consist of 340 wind turbines alongside solar panels across Emu Creek and Uaroo Stations, in a development envelope of more than 65,000 hectares of land and a disturbance footprint of more than 10,000 hectares.

  • If you look at the 65,000 hectares, as the area of the renewable energy hub, 0.77 MW is generated per hectare.
  • If you look at the 10,000 hectares, as the area of the renewable energy hub, 0.5 MW is generated per hectare.
  • If you look at Shell’s Scotwind E2 lease, that is 2 GW in 86,000 hectares, where 0.023 MW is generated per hectare.

So on a brief look Australia is a more efficient place for renewable energy, than the seas around the UK.

Conclusion

Andrew Forrest is developing a more detailed plan.

April 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fortescue And E.ON To Supply Europe With Green Hydrogen

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd. of Australia and E.ON SE, energy giant from Germany, have teamed up to supply green hydrogen to Europe. This strategy is meant to help the EU to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.

These are other points from the article.

  • FFI intends to supply five million tonnes of hydrogen per year by 2030.
  • The hydrogen will be produced by renewable hydrogen in Australia.
  • E.ON will handle the distribution.
  • Five million tonnes is about a third of Germany’s energy imports.

I have some further thoughts.

How Much Energy Is Needed to Produce Five Million Tonnes Per Year Of Hydrogen?

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

55.2 MWh/tonne is 55.2 kWh/kg.

To produce five million tonnes of hydrogen will need 55.2 * 5.000,000 / 10 MWh.

  • This is 27,600,000 MWh or 27,600 GWh.
  • It works out at an average of 75.6 GWh per day or 3.15 GWh per hour.

This article on vox is entitled The Economic Limitations Of Wind And Solar Power, where this is said.

“Capacity factor” refers to how often a power plant runs and thus how much power it produces relative to its total potential (capacity). Nuclear power plants in the US run around 90 percent of the time, so they have a 90 percent capacity factor. On average, the capacity factor of solar ranges anywhere from 10 to just over 30 percent. For wind, it ranges from 20 to just over 50 percent, averaging around 34 percent in the US.

If FFI is using solar to generate electricity in Australia, I suspect that the capacity factor will be around twenty percent at best.

So will FFI need around 16 GW of solar power to satisfy the supply to Germany?

The Wikipedia entry for Solar Power In Australia gives a good insight into its capability of providing the 16 GW of energy needed. This statement is key.

Using solar to supply all the energy needed would use less than 0.1% of land.

It does look that Australia could provide Germany with some of the hydrogen it needs.

Would It Be Cheaper To Produce The Hydrogen In The North Sea?

This is probably heresy to Andrew Forrest, who is the Australian billionaire behind Fortescue Future Industries.

Consider.

  • North Sea Hydrogen could be piped to Germany.
  • Australia and Germany would probably need transfer by liquid hydrogen tanker.
  • Electrolysers would need to be used to create hydrogen from renewable energy in both Australia and the North Sea.
  • Floating wind farms in the North Sea could be more efficient than solar in Australia, as the capacity factor is higher.

We obviously won’t know until both wind and solar technologies are fully developed.

Will There Be Price Competition Between Australian And North Sea Hydrogen?

It does appear that Andrew Forrest believes in research and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his company developing ideas that drop the price of solar-produced hydrogen.

Research and good engineering on both sides will also drop prices, so I suspect price competition will occur.

Will Fortescue Future Industries Develop North Sea Hydrogen?

Given the ambition being shown by Andrew Forrest to be the Hydrogen King, I wouldn’t be surprised if he joined the streams of international investors in the North Sea, who are developing wind farms.

Conclusion

Go! Aussie! Go!

 

 

April 2, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fortescue Unveils World-First Electric Train Using Gravity To Recharge

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on InnovateAus.

These two paragraphs summarise the project.

Fortescue has announced the development of an electric train that recharges itself using gravity, as the Australian resources giant finalises its acquisition of UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering.

Fortescue is dedicating $50 million, in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), for research and development on the Infinity Train, which fully recharges its battery using gravitational energy when it descends.

Note.

  1. Most of Australia’s iron ore is mined in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
  2. There are at least four railways in Pilbara leading to the coast.
  3. As the mines are higher than the coast, the heavily loaded trains will be going downhill, whereas the empties will be going uphill.
  4. There would certainly appear to be scope for charging going to the coast and coming back on a full battery with the empties.
  5. 94 % of Australia’s iron ore exports are transported by train from Pilbara to the coast.

There are hundreds of locomotives used for transportation of Iron ore from Pilbara to the coast.

Will Williams Convert Existing Locomotives?

I suspect they will as this is route that Wabtec is taking with their FLXdrive locomotives.

Will Williams Convert Locomotives For Other Pilbara Companies?

I suspect what Andrew Twiggy Forest wants he gets.

Could Williams Convert Other Diesel Electric Locomotives

I suspect they could and I wouldn’t rule out seeing a battery-electric Class 66 locomotive.

I laid out my thoughts in Could Class 66 Locomotives Be Converted Into Battery-Electric Locomotives?.

March 2, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fortescue Buys Williams Engineering In Major Push Into High Performance Batteries

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Renew Economy.

This is the opening paragraph.

Fortescue Future Industries has made its first major push into battery storage and high performance batteries with the $A310 million purchase of Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), the offshoot of the Formula 1 specialists Williams Grand Prix Engineering.

Andrew Forrest certainly has a wide-ranging plan.

This article on Railway Gazette is entitled Formula 1 Technology Company To Support Development Of Battery Train, was published later and gives more details.

This is the first paragraph.

Fortescue Metals Group’s green technology division Fortescue Future Industries is developing what it says is a ‘world leading’ battery electric train concept.

It will be interesting to see what technologies are at the heart of the ‘world leading’ concept.

If you are controlling a complex chemical or nuclear plant, you will often have a model of the plant inside the control system, so that the operating strategy can be consistently optimised.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see techniques like this and other advanced techniques be used to reduce the carbon footprint of rail transportation of iron ore and other minerals.

Perhaps, the ideal power for one of these heavy haul trains would consist of a master battery-electric locomotive up front with the crew, assisted by up to three hydrogen-, diesel- or battery-powered slaves.

  • All braking would be regenerative to battery.
  • Power would be called for from the slave locomotives as required.
  • Modelling would determine, if some sections needed electrification to charge the batteries.

I suspect there are opportunities to optimise round trips, as returning the empties will surely need less power.

 

 

 

January 24, 2022 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments