Iron-ore billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Energy has been awarded more than €200m from the EU’s Innovation Fund to help pay for the company’s 300MW Holmaneset green hydrogen and ammonia project on Norway’s west coast.

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The €203,766,000 ($223,443,679) grant, part of a €3.45bn allocation to large-scale projects, is financed by revenues from the EU's Emissions Trading System.

“The planned green ammonia plant, west of Svelgen [500km northwest of Oslo], aims to capitalise on the surplus renewable energy from the Norwegian transmission grid and ship the resulting green ammonia to domestic and European markets,” Fortescue stated in a press release.

The Australian company recently approved the funding of front end engineering design (FEED) for the project, which must be completed by 30 November 2027, according to Innovation Fund data.

Construction is targeted to begin in 2025.

The Innovation Fund says the project covers the “full value chain of renewable ammonia in Europe, expanding the deployment of existing technology to a large-scale commercial installation that will shift the economics of green hydrogen and green ammonia production towards a sustainable pathway”.

In March this year, Fortescue secured renewable power for the project through a long-term power-purchase agreement with Norwegian power giant Statkraft, although no further details have been revealed. Statkraft is the largest generator of renewable-energy in Europe, mainly due to its 15.5GW of hydropower.

A computer rendering of the planned project. Photo: Image Fortescue

“The Holmaneset Project is a great opportunity for Fortescue, Norway and Europe to develop a significant green energy value chain, and its selection for funding by the EU is a recognition of its significance to global decarbonisation efforts,” said Fortescue Energy CEO Mark Hutchinson.

The first instalment of the grant will not be paid until the project reaches financial close, with further payments due to be made on the completion of specific project milestones.