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Fortescue welcomes Chinese Premier Li Qiang in Perth

18 June 2024

Fortescue has welcomed H.E. Li Qiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, to its green technology and test facility in Perth, Western Australia, marking a historic moment.

Fortescue, a major energy and mining house that is leading the world in green technology, has welcomed H.E. Li Qiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, to its green technology and test facility in Perth, Western Australia, marking a historic moment in the Company’s proud two-decade business relationship with China.

Premier Li’s visit to Fortescue Zero’s Hazelmere Prototype Facility gave Fortescue the opportunity to demonstrate its world-leading technology and its extraordinary decarbonisation progress in its short journey to Real Zero emissions across its Australian iron ore operations (Scope 1 and 2).

The visit is a critical opportunity for Australian and China to engage as partners beyond Fortescue’s advanced green iron ore developments, to create an Australia Sino green iron metal supply chain which – with the support of the Chinese Government and the innovation and cooperation of both countries’ industrial and technology sectors – has the potential to bring massive economic and environmental value to both countries.

Fortescue is committed to working with its Chinese partners to build a supply chain aimed at providing green iron metal to China by capitalising on the abundance of solar and wind in Australia, the existing financial and technical capabilities of China’s manufacturers of innovative green equipment, and Fortescue’s green tech and iron ore supply.

In this way, the equipment and technology will be ‘sourced’ from China and Australia, and the green metal and hydrogen will be ‘made in Australia’ and supplied to the world.

Fortescue Executive Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, was joined by Fortescue Metals CEO Dino Otranto and Fortescue Global Ambassador Elizabeth Gaines in welcoming Premier Li and Chinese Government officials to Fortescue Zero’s Hazelmere Prototype Facility.

Australian Government Resources Minister Madeleine King and Trade Minister Don Farrell, Chinese and Australian media, and more than 100 Fortescue employees were also on hand as Premier Li was shown Fortescue’s zero-emission locomotive the Infinity Train; a hydrogen-powered haul truck, Europa; and an ammonia powered ship engine.

Of considerable historical note, the world’s first pollution free haul truck, Sonic, which was converted from a diesel truck to a hydrogen fuel cell electric truck in fewer than 100 days, was on display, as was a liquid hydrogen mobile refueler and the unique DC-DC and battery intelligence technology that empowers Fortescue’s green journey.

The tour provided a clear demonstration that the technology needed to help decarbonise the mining industry, the shipping industry, the rail industry, the trucking industry and the green steel industry exists in Western Australia now.

Earlier on Tuesday, Dr Forrest joined Premier Li, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Australian and Chinese business leaders at the Australia-China CEO Roundtable in Perth, hosted by the Business Council of Australia and the China Development Bank.

Dr Forrest said the strength of the Fortescue-China relationship, built through its traditional iron ore business over the past two decades, will provide the critical foundations for the next chapter focused on both countries’ green transformation.

“A fully integrated green iron metal supply chain between Australia and China is the key to China maintaining its position as the dominant global producer of steel to the world,” Dr Forrest said.

“Our proposed Australia Sino green iron metal supply chain will bring together mining powered by large-scale renewable power and green hydrogen to produce green iron metal.

“Our ambition is to provide 100 million tonnes of green iron metal to China each year, eliminating more than 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

“Green iron metal will help defeat the challenging pollution and smog issues surrounding some of the world’s biggest cities. It will bring down global emissions dramatically and help prevent the world from seeing a worsening of the lethal humid heat belts that are already driving losses in human life, livestock and productivity in India, the USA, China, South America and Africa.

“I have seen firsthand the impressive in-roads China is making towards renewable energy which in partnership, we can leverage to create great opportunities for green industry in both countries.

“Working with Chinese partners will help give Fortescue a competitive advantage to achieve our Real Zero decarbonisation targets and has the potential to deliver massive economic opportunities in both countries.”

Fortescue Metals CEO Dino Otranto said: “From the very beginning, Fortescue has invested heavily in technology and building genuine and trusting friendships with our Chinese partners, underpinning the success and longevity of what has been a mutually beneficial partnership.

“Nowhere was this tested and proven more than when Fortescue intervened to help Australia – at the request of the then Prime Minister and Health Minister – when it was in dire need of Covid tests.

“Today, China remains our key market for our iron ore business and we now look forward to building new relationships in a green focused world.

“We believe that partnering with China to help send its steel industry green will be a major benefit to both economies and to bilateral relationships, shoring up Australia as China’s reliable and preferred commodity supplier.” 


The term “green iron” refers to the end product resulting from processing iron ore into iron, without the use of fossil fuels, and instead using renewable energy.

 Fortescue Zero is a division of Fortescue Energy.