In 2020, Andrew Forrest astounded Fortescue Metals Group stakeholders at the iron ore miner’s yearly general meeting with the newsflash that the firm he established was to emerge as a renewable energy powerhouse.
Dr Forrest then addressed Paraguay, one of the several nations he visited to recognize potential solar, hydropower, and wind projects.
Fortescue Future Industries, a subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group
On 9th November 2021 (Tuesday) afternoon, the stakeholders reunited at the Hyatt Hotel in East Perth adjacent to the Fortescue Metals Group head office. Mini lamingtons and antiquated finger sandwiches powered them before they received a message about Fortescue Metals Group’s systematic modern agenda to deal with climate change.
For this endeavour to commence, the Chief Executive of Fortescue Metals Group – Elizabeth Gaines reassessed the 2021 record production of iron ore, expansion blueprints, and progression on several metrics. The product that made Fortescue Metals Group a yearly profit of AUD 14 billion (USD 10.3 billion) was rarely brought to attention for the remainder of the meeting.
Dr Forrest smiled in to address the gathering from the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. In one year, he has shifted from scouring far-flung corners of the world for green energy projects to endorsing them at the congregation of the world’s most powerful personalities.
Dr Forrest commenced his speech deliverance with a salutation to the heart-rending death of a Fortescue Metals Group worker, David Armstrong, owing to a mine accident in September 2021.
Before elaborating on the topic of renewable energy, Dr Forrest updated stakeholders about the Minderoo Foundation he established almost a decade ago with his spouse, Nicola. The Minderoo Foundation is financed with AUD 2.5 billion (USD 1.84 billion) of their Fortescue Metals Group surpluses.
Dr Forrest stated that the firm was dealing with some of the most pressing problems on the planet like community bushfires, slavery, indigenous inequality, and flood resilience.
Another Minderoo Foundation target is plastic pollution, which is notorious for its genocidal effects on wildlife and its long-time effect on the environment owing to its degraded form.
In the symposium, Dr Forrest indicated that he would not deal with climate change via philanthropy but utilize the industrial strength of commerce through Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), a Fortescue Metals Group green energy subsidiary.
Dr Forrest stated that the firm had set out to evaluate the hypothesis of whether there was sufficient renewable energy to effectively and wholly substitute the fossil fuel sector. He said that Fortescue Future Industries was seeking to initiate large scale renewable energy and hydrogen projects in Canada, the USA, Africa, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Australia, and Asia.
Fortescue Future Industries has estimated an investment of more than USD 130 trillion, announced in the COP26 Symposium in Glasgow alone.
Fortescue Future Industries declared in October 2021 that it would fabricate the electrolyzers needed to retrieve hydrogen in Gladstone, Queensland. Dr Forrest elaborated that electrolyzer manufacturing was archaic until the firm made pronouncements to automate it.
Unlike recent periodical results, where Fortescue Metals Group was speckled with queries from investment analysts about its energy wing, there were few cross-examinations on Tuesday from retail stockholders.
Len Roy, an Australian Shareholders Association representative, stated that Fortescue Metals Group‘s apportionment of 10% of its profits to clean energy was remarkable, and only intreated that the activities of the new-fangled venture were reported similarly to the Fortescue Metals Group mining.
Mr Roy stated that the Australian Shareholders Association conceded the global sustainability drive needs enhanced investments in technologies.
Dr Forrest showcased a video, to his stakeholders in the COP26 summit, that was etched with a Tom Petty song. The song ironically concluded by saying, ‘Working on a mystery, going wherever it leads, I’m running down a dream.’