Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest says the company has been warmly welcomed in Russia where it is considering hydropower and green hydrogen projects.
Russia’s ambassador to Australia, Alexey Pavlovsky, confirmed the Fortescue interest in projects in the far east of the country.
Dr Forrest was in St Petersburg for the recent international economic forum and has had high-levels talks with the Russian leadership.
Fortescue teams were on the ground in Russia this week assessing the suitability of river systems for electricity generation, hot on the heels of Dr Forrest striking an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo about developing the world’s biggest hydropower project with a price tag of $US80 billion ($103.8 billion).
“We met with the Russian leadership. They are as convinced as any other country of the absolute necessity of the world going green,” Dr Forrest said.
“They would like to head towards 20 per cent of the renewable energy market which they currently have in oil and gas. We have a highly professional team that remains on the ground in Russia.”
‘These ideas are of interest’
Speaking on the sidelines of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association conference in Perth, Dr Pavlovsky said Dr Forrest had come to the Russian Federation with ideas on developing green hydrogen.
“And these ideas are of interest to the Russian government, and to the Russian companies, and now we are in the process of how it can be done,” he said.
Dr Pavlovsky said the high-level meetings included Russian ministers and state corporations.
“As far as I know, he was targeting obviously hydro energy – we have powerful rivers,” he said.
“As far as I know he has been targeting, and his team is looking at, some regions in the far east of Russia, which is also good from the point of view that we always highlight the far east of Russia as the area of preference for co-operation with Australia.”
Asked why the far east was preferred, Dr Pavlovsky said it was the closest part of Russia to Australia with some time zone overlap.
It is also closer to emerging green hydrogen markets in Japan and South Korea, which Dr Forrest also visited on a three-month journey through 15 countries that ended on Thursday when he returned to Australia.
Source: Financial Review.