JCB indicators inexperienced hydrogen deal
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Renowned construction machinery manufacturer JCB has signed a multi-billion pound purchase contract for green hydrogen. The deal means that JCB will acquire 10% of the green hydrogen from Australian company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI).
FFI said the deal was a “unique partnership” that would make it the UK’s largest supplier of clean fuel.
Production, which will mainly take place outside of the UK, is slated to begin early next year. JCB and a company called Ryze Hydrogen would then distribute it in the UK.
Lord Anthony Bamford, chairman of JCB, said the deal would help make green hydrogen a viable solution. In an interview he said it was “the right thing”.
Hydrogen does not produce carbon emissions when burned, so it is viewed as a likely substitute for fossil fuels in heavy industries such as shipping and steel and cement manufacturing.
Lord Bamford urged the government to invest in hydrogen-powered transportation such as buses, trains and planes. In a statement, he said, “It’s okay to have an engine that runs on green hydrogen, but it’s no use if customers can’t get green hydrogen to fuel their machines.” “This is a big step forward in making green hydrogen a viable solution,” he added.
Economy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said low carbon hydrogen had to play a “critical role” in the UK’s net zero transition by balancing the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.
In the UK government’s hydrogen strategy, the Secretary of Commerce argues that “the UK’s infrastructure and technical know-how position us ideally to be the world leader in hydrogen”.
Robert Buckley, Energy Analyst at Cornwall Insights, said, “Hydrogen has the potential to be a very important source of energy for heavy goods vehicles and industry.”
Ministers believe that low carbon hydrogen must play a crucial role in the net zero transition. The goal is 5 gigawatts of production capacity by 2030.