Could this be a blow to the fortunes of Fortescue Future Industries?

Businessman walks through exit door signalling resignation

Businessman walks through exit door signalling resignation

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG) founder Andrew Forrest is adamant about the huge potential for green hydrogen to power the world through the 21st century.

His passion and commitment to the idea led to the creation of Fortescue Future Industries (FFI).

FFI has targeted producing 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030. An ambitious goal for a company that’s yet to produce any commercial quantity of the gas, with its renewable energy projects still in the planning stages.

Still, there’s no shortage of funding for Fortescue’s green offshoot. The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) mining giant is allocating 10% of its net profit after tax (NPAT) to fund its green hydrogen ambitions.

A core market setback?

Forrest considers North America as a core market for the company’s green hydrogen success, saying FFI could help the region become “a leading global green energy heartland” while creating “thousands of green jobs now”.

But, in a possible setback to the fortunes of Fortescue Future Industries, Paul Browning, the company’s North America president and CEO since 1 January, has abruptly left his position. The company did not offer a reason for his departure.

As The Australian reported, Browning and Forrest had earlier this year met with US president Joe Biden to highlight the potential of green hydrogen power.

Browning, who previously served as the CEO of Mitsubishi Power Americas, was appointed to lead Fortescue’s green hydrogen work in North America.

Commenting on his appointment back in April, Browning said (quoted by The Australian):

I interviewed with Andrew and he made that comment of green hydrogen becoming the world’s largest traded commodity. I just sat there … really sort of thinking about what an ambitious idea that was. And I just decided, no, that would just be a wonderful thing to spend the next decade working on trying to make that kind of thing a reality…

I honestly believe that figuring out green hydrogen is something that has to happen this decade. It’s really important to addressing climate change while also advancing human prosperity.

Now what?

Fortescue continues to believe green hydrogen needs to happen this decade and is turning to Andy Vesey, former CEO of AGL Energy Ltd (ASX: AGL), to help make that happen.

“Mr Andrew Vesey will step in to support the FFI North American team,” an FFI spokeswoman said.

The post Could this be a blow to the fortunes of Fortescue Future Industries? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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