Fortescue CSIRO Partnership

September 22nd, 2020

Fortescue CSIRO Partnership

Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) and CSIRO have entered into a partnership that allows for FMG to fund and support selected hydrogen technologies under development in CSIRO.

Lead participants:

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)


Research and development



In progress

Estimated cost:


Research partners:

Fortescue Metals Group


Main supply chain category:

Hydrogen carrier


Queensland, Australia

Announced funding:

AUD$20 million – Fortescue Metals Group

Research description

In November 2018, the Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) announced a partnership to capitalise on the economic opportunities associated with the development of a hydrogen industry in Australia.

The collaboration between Fortescue and CSIRO includes a five-year agreement for Fortescue to fund and support select hydrogen technologies under development in CSIRO.

The centrepiece of the AUD$20 million partnership is an investment in CSIRO’s metal membrane technology, which enables ammonia to be used as a carrier material for hydrogen storage and transport. In August 2018, CSIRO ‘road-tested’ the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel cell vehicles fuelled by ultra-high purity hydrogen derived from the metal membrane technology.

The research and development of the technology was primarily undertaken at the CSIRO laboratories at the QCAT precinct (an integrated research and development precinct for the resources and advanced technology industries) in Pullenvale, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland.

The agreement includes commercialisation arrangements for the membrane technology, with a subsequent five-year investment in hydrogen research and development.

In August 2020, FMG announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hyundai and CSIRO that outlines areas of cooperation in the development of hydrogen technology, including the development and future commercialisation of metal membrane technology. Hyundai would seek to demonstrate the viability of the technology for renewable hydrogen production and vehicle fuelling in Korea.

CSIRO will continue its own investment in hydrogen research and development, including through its Hydrogen Industry Mission initiative, and will work with FMG to commercialise technologies that support new energy markets, including in the chemicals and transportation sectors.

This description was reviewed by the lead research participant in August 2020.