Australian iron ore mining company Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), which is owned by Australia’s richest man, Dr Andrew Forrest, has bought Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE). The two groups collaborated last year to develop battery-electric haul trucks for use in the mining industry.
This new acquisition brings together leading thinkers and engineers into one organisation to drive progress and combat climate change, enabling Fortescue to become a major player in the growing global market for green industrial transport equipment.
WAE will bring its race-bred critical battery technology to FFI, which will enable Fortescue, one of the largest iron ore producers in the world and a heavy carbon emitter, to realise its industry-leading 2030 net-zero target.
This will be achieved by working together to help bring green energy to life in programmes such as Fortescue’s three-kilometre long freight trains, 400-tonne haul trucks and industrial heavy mobile equipment.
The heavy industrial sector accounts for more than 20 percent of global carbon emissions. Today’s £164 million investment means Fortescue and FFI will acquire critical capabilities needed to help decarbonise this industry worldwide utilising FFI’s green electricity, green hydrogen and ammonia which contains zero carbon.
Dr Andrew Forest, Fortescue founder and chairman, said: “This is the race of our lifetimes – the race to save the planet from cooking. The speed at which we move matters. Together FFI and WAE will work to decarbonise Fortescue – with the aim of achieving that faster and more effectively than anyone else in the world.
“This is an historic moment in the future of our company as we welcome the WAE family into the Fortescue family to work together to decarbonise heavy industry and hard to abate sectors for the good of our planet, and the benefit of our shareholders.
“This announcement is the key to unlocking the formula for removing fossil fuel powered machinery and replacing it with zero carbon emission technology, powered by FFI green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia.”
Claire Williams OBE, former deputy team principal of the Williams F1 Racing Team, said: “Since the team sold a majority shareholding in WAE to EMK Capital a couple of years ago, EMK and the management team have done a fantastic job in taking the business forward.
“We are delighted that Fortescue are now taking over that mantle and see the value in the company and its people in tackling some of the biggest issues facing our world today.
“I am sure that they will continue to drive considerable success through the business and achieve further results in decarbonising heavy industry and tackling the issue of global warming.”
FFI and WAE will work together to help achieve the goal to make zero emissions energy available at an industrial, global scale as we become the world’s best, fully renewable energy and green products company.