Home NewsAustralia Mining billionaire ‘Twiggy’ Forrest snaps up Pilbara cattle stations for green energy production

Mining billionaire ‘Twiggy’ Forrest snaps up Pilbara cattle stations for green energy production

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Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has continued his land acquisition in Western Australia, buying one other three cattle stations within the state’s north-west to generate renewable vitality.  

Emu Creek Station within the Pilbara and Ella Valla Station within the Gascoyne have lately been offered for undisclosed quantities, with the sale of the Gascoyne’s Yalbago Station at the moment underway.

The properties had been purchased by Mr Forrest’s inexperienced vitality enterprise, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) as a part of plans to decarbonise the mining billionaire’s operations by 2030.

The stations will proceed to run cattle to fulfil obligations below the Western Australian Land Administration Act (1997), however the important thing focus can be on producing renewable vitality, in accordance with FFI director-western states Maia Schweizer. 

A white tin sign welcoming you to Emu Creek Station hangs on white wood before a blue sky
Emu Creek Station will turn out to be dwelling to a significant renewable vitality hub, run by Fortescue Future Industries.(ABC: Lucie Bell)

FFI is planning to construct a renewable vitality hub to energy Fortescue Metals Group’s Eliwana iron ore mine, about 170 kilometres west of Emu Creek and Uaroo Stations.

The hub would include 340 wind generators alongside photo voltaic panels throughout Emu Creek and Uaroo Stations, in a growth envelope of greater than 65,000 hectares of land and a disturbance footprint of greater than 10,000 hectares.

The wind generators could possibly be inbuilt areas the place cattle grazed, and the photo voltaic panels could be put in in much less productive components of the station, Ms Schweizer mentioned.

A map with dots and squares outlining where renewable energy generators will be built.
FFI’s renewable vitality hub would generate sufficient vitality to energy the higher Perth area.(Equipped: Fortescue Future Industries)

Greater than 5 gigawatts of vitality is anticipated to be produced out of the hub — sufficient to energy a complete metropolis.

“What the higher Perth space could be utilizing on a extremely, actually sizzling day with the entire air-con on could be one thing just like the vitality that we would be hoping to generate from this growth,” Ms Schweizer mentioned.

Thalanyji native title holders have been in dialogue with FFI over the plans, however didn’t reply to ABC interview requests.

Plans for Ella Valla and Yalbalgo Stations are nonetheless to be confirmed, with assessments of photo voltaic and wind vitality manufacturing capability on website to be undertaken. 

“[Ella Valla and Yalbago Stations] are not a lot supporting the decarbonisation of FMG, however they could possibly be supporting the export of inexperienced vitality in another kind, so for instance green hydrogen or inexperienced ammonia,” Ms Schweizer mentioned. 

An aerial photograph of a homestead on a pastoral station.
Positioned simply south of Carnarvon in Western Australia, Ella Valla Station will turn out to be a part of FFI’s exports of inexperienced hydrogen or inexperienced ammonia.(ABC: Chris Lewis)

‘Taking a look at various locations’ 

From Esperance within the south to Onslow within the north, FFI’s shortly increasing footprint is prone to develop.

Ms Schweizer mentioned whether or not the corporate’s land acquisition was by way of the acquisition of stations or by way of “including worth to an ongoing lease”, the corporate was contemplating all areas of Western Australia, together with offshore. 

“There’s not a number of locations in WA that we would not be wanting into.” 

Emu Creek’s common station keep has been closed till additional discover.

The ABC approached the previous homeowners of Emu Creek, Ella Valla and Yalbago Stations, however they didn’t want to touch upon the gross sales. 

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