Skip to main content

Renew Economy:

Fortescue Future Industries has extended its green energy deal making to north America, signing an agreement that turn a former coal mine and the last coal generator in Washington state into a major green hydrogen facility.

Like many of FFI’s announcement, this does not yet reflect a commitment to invest, but a deal to conduct an exclusive feasibility study into converting the Centralia coal mine and neighbouring coal generator into the first green hydrogen hub in the US Pacific north west.

The Centralia coal mine, which extracted low quality sub-bituminous coal, was closed in 2006, but the coal generator – first opened in 1971 – is still generating, albeit at reduced capacity, using coal railed in from the Powder River Basin in the US mid-west.

The first of its two 670MW generating units closed in 2020, and the second is due to close in 2025, ending coal generation in the state, under a deal struck between Canadian owner TransAlta and the state government a decade ago.

FFI wants to redeploy the coal workforce at the green hydrogen facility, which it says would create hundreds of jobs. TransAlta has strong links to the Pilbara region, where Fortescue Metals mines its iron ore, and operates the 150MW South Headland gas plant.

[Giles Parkinson]

More: Fortescue looks to turn US coal mine into huge green hydrogen hub

Join our newsletter

Keep up to date with all the latest from IEEFA