Fortescue to buy engineering firm to help to decarbonize operations
In its push to decarbonize its fleet of equipment, Fortescue Metals Groups announced that will purchase William Advanced Engineering (WAE), from private equity firm EMK Capital and Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited for 164 million pounds($222.15 million).
Fortescue Metals Group said it had been working with WAE since early 2021 to build a prototype battery to power an electric haul truck, and will release more details this year on plans to develop an electric train project.
It follows an aggressive push by Fortescue's billionaire-founder Andrew Forrest to turn his mining firm into one of the world's biggest green energy companies.
Fortescue, the world's fourth-largest iron ore miner, aims to work with WAE to develop battery electric solutions to cut the use of diesel in its rail, mobile haul fleet and heavy mining equipment to decarbonize operations by 2030.
Rivals BHP Group and Rio Tinto have also made strides in recent weeks to bring down emissions by buying battery-powered electric trains to transport iron ore, Reuters reported.
Fortescue said WAE will be managed by Fortescue Future Industries, the Perth-based company's clean energy unit, after the purchase from private-equity firm EMK Capital and Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd is complete.
The transaction, which will be funded by existing liquidity, is expected to be completed by the end of March.