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08.11.2021

JCB's hydrogen deal

JCB has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with Australian based Fortescue Future Industries for the supply of green hydrogen (GH2).

Both JCB and Ryze Hydrogen - which is owned Anthony Bamford's son Jo Bamford - have agreed to purchase 10 percent of Fortescue's global GH2 production, which would make it the largest supplier of renewable hydrogen in the UK.

Fortescue claims that its green hydrogen production is anticipated to grow to 15 million tonnes a year by 2030, and up to 50 million tonnes by the end of the following decade. Under the agreement, JCB and Ryze will manage the sales, distribution and the development in the UK with imports expected to begin next year.
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JCB recently unveiled the prototype of its hydrogen powered telehandler


All three companies have said an ‘extended offtake agreement’ will be evaluated to provide green hydrogen to the whole of the European market, while it also plans to evaluate ‘collaboration opportunities to accelerate green hydrogen demand and establish green hydrogen manufacturing centres’.

Fortescue Future Industries is a subsidiary of Perth, Western Australia based Fortescue Metals, of which the Forest family’s philanthropic organisation Minderoo Group - now known as Tattarang, owns 29 percent, while a string of institutional investors make up the rest of the major shareholders that control a majority of the equity.

The company is planning to produce the hydrogen using wind power and hydro-electricity in both Australia and Papua New Guinea. It has also agreed a joint venture with Plug Power last month to build a new plant to manufacture energy infrastructure and equipment, such as proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysers - which are used to manufacture green hydrogen - cabling and wind turbines, at Aldoga, near Gladstone in Queensland. Plug Power is a leading producer of fuel cells and hydrogen refuelling stations.
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Jo Bamford also owns Wrightbus which claims to have built the world’s first hydrogen powered double deck bus


Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest, said: “This landmark partnership will help the UK to achieve Net Zero, particularly in hard to electrify sectors. Our agreement signals the first major shift in the global commercial landscape from fossil fuels towards the real, practical, implementable solution that is green hydrogen.”

JCB chairman Anthony Bamford added: “This is an important step towards getting green hydrogen to the customer. It’s fine having an engine powered by green hydrogen, but no good if customers can’t get hold of it to fuel their machines. This is a major advance on the road towards making green hydrogen a viable solution.”

This news follows JCB’s announcement to invest more than £100 million developing hydrogen powered engines and the introduction of its hydrogen powered prototype telehandler – see: JCBs hydrogen telehandler.

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