Construction equipment firm JCB has signed a deal worth billions of pounds to buy hydrogen generated by non-fossil fuel based sources.
The deal for green hydrogen was signed with Australian firm Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) in a partnership the company called the first of its kind.
It will mean JCB will purchase 10% of FFI’s green hydrogen production, with FFI dealing with production and logistics and JCB and a third firm, Ryze, managing distribution and development of customer demand.
So-called green hydrogen is created using electricity from renewable sources, with FFI’s chief executive officer Julie Shuttleworth saying it was the “fuel of the future”.
She added: “Green hydrogen is critical for the planet and good for business, a powerful fuel and ingredient in the manufacturing of a large range of industrial, difficult-to-decarbonise products.
“It will be fundamental in enabling the decarbonisation of heavy industry globally.”
Earlier this month, Uttoxeter-based JCB announced it was investing £100 million in zero-emission hydrogen engines to power machinery.
The firm said it already has a team of 100 engineers working on the hydrogen engines and is recruiting up to 50 more to deliver on its bid to make the first machines available to customers by the end of 2022.
Speaking about the deal, Lord Bamford said: “This is an important step towards getting green hydrogen to the customer.
“It’s fine having an engine powered by green hydrogen but no good if customers can’t get green hydrogen to fuel their machines.
“This is a major advance on the road towards making green hydrogen a viable solution.”
No figures were revealed in the announcement of the deal, other than a statement saying: “Fortescue Future Industries will become the largest supplier of green hydrogen to the United Kingdom after signing a multi-billion-pound deal with construction giant J C Bamford Excavators (JCB) and Ryze Hydrogen”.