Billionnaire Andrew Forrest Plots a Transition From Metals Magnate To Green Hydrogen Leader

When it comes to legacy industry billionnaires shifting to green technologies, few will match the pivot Australian metals billionnaire Andrew Forrest is attempting, as he seeks to fashion a green hydrogen manufacturing empire.

With Australian iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest announcing a string of projects aimed at developing green hydrogen and its derivatives, billionaires elsewhere too have been busy making plans to invest heavily in the green H2 segment of renewable energy.

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), a green energy subsidiary of Forrest’s iron ore mining company Fortescue Metals Group, and German power giant E.ON, which operates energy networks and infrastructure to serve 50 million customers in Europe, are partnering on a journey to deliver up to 5 million tonnes per annum of green, renewable hydrogen by 2030.

FII expects to expand its green hydrogen production to 15 million tonnes per year by 2030. “Green hydrogen is the way out of global warming,” Forrest has said in the past. “We don’t intend to lose money out of turning Fortescue green,” he added about his company, which aims to become carbon neutral by the end of the present decade.

Back home, billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s ambitious effort to pivot his conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. toward green energy could transform India into a clean-hydrogen juggernaut. Ambani, Asia’s richest man, announced plans earlier this year to invest $75 billion in renewables infrastructure including generation plants, solar panels and electrolyzers. There is growing speculation that the strategy entails transforming all of that clean power into hydrogen, one of the largest endorsements in the next-generation fuel.

Notably, billionaire Gautam Adani also announced last year that his logistics-to-energy conglomerate will invest USD 70 billion over the next decade to become the world’s largest renewable energy company and produce the cheapest hydrogen on the Earth.

Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL), the world’s largest solar power developer, is targeting 45 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030 and will invest USD 20 billion to develop a 2 GW per year solar manufacturing capacity by 2022-23.Adani Transmission Ltd (ATL), India’s largest private sector power transmission and retail distribution company, is looking to increase the share of renewable power procurement from the current 3 per cent to 30 per cent by FY 2023 and to 70 per cent by FY 2030.

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