Monday, November 1, 2021

Major Figures See Green Hydrogen as the Most Powerful Weapon in Climate Fight

Multi-Billion Pound Deal to Get Fuel to the Customer
Shipping News Feature

UK – AUSTRALIA – The race to primacy in the 'Fuel of the Future' is hotting up with the news that a multi-billion pound deal between construction giant J C Bamford Excavators (JCB) together with Ryze Hydrogen, and Western Australian energy providers Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) was signed on the eve of COP26.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed just prior to the climate conference JCB and Ryze will purchase 10% of FFI’s global green hydrogen production. Commencing early in 2022, FFI’s green hydrogen production is anticipated to grow to 15 million tonnes of GH2 per year by 2030, accelerating in the 2030s to 50 million tonnes per year.

Producing both hydrogen and ammonia FFI claims all come from 100% renewable sources, those plans to escalate production in the next nine years mean the UK firms are committing to a major investment, and the Bamford name is already associated strongly with the gas in the UK, Ryze Hydrogen, established by entrepreneur Jo Bamford, distributes green hydrogen for transport, industry, and homes and is building the UK’s first network of green hydrogen production plants.

He also heads up Northern Irish firm Wrightbus, saved from collapse by Bamford and the company which built the world’s first hydrogen double decker. His father, Lord Anthony Bamford bosses the JCB empire, the world’s third largest producer of construction equipment, and who in July 2020, challenged his engineering team to design an engine for a digger that ran entirely on hydrogen with two prototypes so far unveiled.

Under the partnership, FFI will lead the green hydrogen production and logistics to the UK market, and JCB and Ryze will manage green hydrogen distribution and development of customer demand in the UK. FFI Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, said of the agreement:

“This landmark, first of its kind partnership will help the UK to achieve Net Zero, particularly in the 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. We are delighted to announce this ground breaking initiative at the critical climate forum of COP26.

“The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with replacing fossil fuel with only two million tonnes of green hydrogen is the equivalent of taking over 8 million cars off the road, almost a quarter of the UK’s entire fleet.”

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford added that the deal was an important step forward in getting the fuel to the customer, thus making the gas a viable solution, with Jo Bamford commenting:

“This is a monumental deal, not just for us but for the UK as a whole. We have chosen to partner with the global leaders in green hydrogen and it is fabulous that two countries, the UK and Australia, can come together to create a brighter future. We are walking the walk on green hydrogen and now we want the Government to show its commitment to the sector by investing in buses, trains, trucks, ships, aircraft and the entire green hydrogen supply chain.

“At best, any hydrogen made from fossil fuel is being promoted as a transition fuel, but the production of it causes more pollution than it saves. This agreement demonstrates that green hydrogen does not need to be ‘transitioned’ via fossil fuel hydrogen. Production of it can commence at once, to meet the needs of all mobility. I have asked Andrew to deliver to me immediately that he has the capacity, and he has agreed.”

Photo: JCB’s 20 tonne prototype hydrogen powered excavator being refuelled. Its only exhaust emission is water.