(Bloomberg) — Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. has agreed to buy Williams Advanced Engineering Ltd., which was founded by the Williams Formula 1 racing team, for $223 million to gain access to battery technology that it will use in mining haulage trucks.
WAE, which will be integrated into the Fortescue Future Industries clean energy unit, has been working with the Perth-based miner since early 2021 on a battery prototype to power an electric haul truck, and is also developing an electric train project.
The acquisition “provides critical technology and expertise in high-performance battery systems and electrification and will enable Fortescue to accelerate and support the decarbonization of Fortescue’s mining operations as well as establishing an important new business growth opportunity,” the company said in a media statement.
Oxfordshire-based WAE traces its origins back to 2010, when the Williams grand prix team set up the unit to develop low carbon engineering technology for the transport sector. The business was sold to private equity firm EMK Capital LLP in 2019.
Fortescue is the world’s fourth-biggest iron ore producer but founder and chairman Andrew Forrest wants to transition the company into one of the world’s top clean energy producers over the next decade. He’s been scouring the planet in search of investment opportunities in hydrogen and renewable energy .
Billionaire Miner Sees Next Fortune in Rush for Clean Energy
©2022 Bloomberg LP