Incitec Pivot (IPL) is Australia’s largest supplier of fertilisers, producing around two million tonnes of ammonia each year for use in Australian agriculture. Its Gibson Island plant in Brisbane (Queensland) was under threat of closure due to the high cost of gas. Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL) have completed initial studies to convert IPL’s Gibson Island ammonia-production facility to run on zero-carbon green hydrogen.
FFI plans to construct an onsite electrolysis plant, which could produce up to 50,000 tonnes of renewable, green hydrogen per year for conversion into green ammonia, replacing the current fossil fuel gas feedstock. FFI is now moving forward with an Engineering Design Study to refine cost, schedule, permitting and commercial agreements, and inform a potential Final Investment Decision; to answer the question: is fossil fuel infrastructure conversion technically and economically feasible?
FFI Founder and Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest AO said this is a significant development in this important project that will accelerate decarbonisation while also protecting local jobs in Queensland.
FFI Chief Executive Officer Julie Shuttleworth AM said, “FFI’s collaboration with Incitec Pivot is an exciting opportunity to harness existing infrastructure at Gibson Island, fast tracking the production of green ammonia at an industrial scale . … Pending further approvals, this project could be Australia’s first green ammonia production facility, demonstrating existing infrastructure can be retrofitted to utilise zero-emissions energy sources.”
“Our world class ammonia expertise is advancing progress of this exciting project and, working with FFI, we have found it is technically feasible to manufacture green ammonia at an industrial scale at Gibson Island. As an existing brownfield site, this offers many advantages,” Ms Johns said for IPL.
The proposed project aligns with the Queensland and Commonwealth governments’ strategy to develop an innovative and competitive green hydrogen industry that delivers reliable domestic supply and new export opportunities. It also aligns with Twiggy Forrest’s vision of a world powered by green hydrogen. Dr Andrew Forrest is already powering heavy haulage at his iron ore mines with green hydrogen and is planning to convert his shipping fleet to run on ammonia — perhaps that produced at Gibson Island.