DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Renewable energy may eventually overtake Fortescue Metals Group’s ( FMG.AX ) iron ore business, despite a strong tailwind for commodity futures, the company’s former chief executive Elizabeth Gein said in Davos.
Fortescue will continue to grow its iron ore business, but the scale of the global green energy transition will further drive demand for renewable energy, said Gaines, non-executive director and global green ambassador, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. In Davos.
There is no lack of desire to grow in our iron ore business. “But when you look at the scale of the green energy transition, it’s not unreasonable to think that ultimately renewable energy will probably increase our iron ore business significantly,” she told the Reuters World Markets Forum.
“I think we’re going to see renewable energy play a bigger role in our total revenue.”
Last year, the Perth-based miner said it would spend $6.2 billion to phase out the use of fossil fuels and achieve “true zero emissions” at its iron ore operations by the end of the decade.
“There’s a perception that businesses are only doing this for ESG reasons, but it’s also a smart thing to do, because the economics are completely cumulative,” Gaines said.
The world’s fourth-largest iron ore producer has lined up a number of projects as it transitions from a pure-play iron ore producer to a green energy company as it looks to rapidly develop technology to produce green hydrogen.
The miner’s Australian renewable energy projects were “very close” to a final investment decision, Gaines said, adding that one of the domestic projects could be the first to get approval from the board.
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Reporting by Divya Chowdhury in Davos and Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex Richardson
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