Australia’s national science agency signs a A$20 million ($14.5 million) agreement with Fortescue Metals Group to develop hydrogen technologies designed to support the promotion of new industries and pave the way for low-emissions export opportunities.
The collaboration includes an agreement to fund and support Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) technologies to support the creation of an Australian hydrogen industry.
The agreement initially will focus on CSIRO’s metal membrane technology that allows ammonia to be used as a carrier material for hydrogen storage and transport. The agency says that will make the transportation of hydrogen economically viable, allowing the benefits of the low-emission fuel to be realized.
The agreement includes commercialization arrangements for the membrane technology, with a subsequent 5-year investment in hydrogen R&D.
CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall says Australia will benefit from the partnership not just through new industry creation and the jobs that will flow from it, but also in contributing to an energy future that is secure, affordable, and sustainable.
“We’re seeing a ‘market pull’ from companies such as Fortescue to reinvent themselves through deep science-driven innovation and follow the global market shift towards a low-emissions energy future, and in so doing create a whole new export market for our vast clean-energy resources,” Marshall says in a statement.
Founded in 2003, Fortescue primarily seeks and develops major iron ore deposits around the world.
Fortescue Chairman Andrew Forrest says Australia is at the beginning of an energy revolution and Fortescue intends to take advantage of this opportunity to unlock the potential of hydrogen, the low-emission fuel of the future.
CSIRO will continue its own investment in hydrogen R&D, chiefly through its Hydrogen Energy Systems Future Science Platform, and will work with Fortescue to commercialize technologies supporting new energy markets, including in the chemicals and transportation sectors.