Home » Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest’s firm signs deal to build 300-MW fertilizer plant in Kenya

Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest’s firm signs deal to build 300-MW fertilizer plant in Kenya

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Andrew Forrest

Fortescue Future Industries, a global green energy company led by Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest, has agreed to build a 300-megawatt (MW) green ammonia and green fertilizer plant in Kenya by 2025.

Kenya’s President William Ruto announced the agreement on Mon., Nov. 7, during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, where more than 90 heads of state and representatives from 190 countries are meeting to deliberate policies to limit global temperature rises.

The 300-MW fertilizer plant, which will be built under a strategic partnership agreement between the Kenyan government and Fortescue, is part of the current administration’s efforts to boost food production and combat food insecurity in the region.

Ruto stated during the announcement that the partnership with Fortescue, which was signed in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, will help Kenya move closer to achieving a green energy transition.

“The shift will help reduce our reliance on imports, reduce fertilizer costs, boost food production, and ultimately mitigate the risks posed by food insecurity,” he said.

Forrest, the chairman and founder of Fortescue, who was present at the signing of the agreement, stated that the collaboration will create thousands of new jobs in Kenya and accelerate the country’s green energy transition.

According to data tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Forrest, one of Australia’s richest men, has a net worth of $16.7 billion and ranks as the 84th richest man in the world, seven spots behind Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote.

The majority of his fortune stems from his 36-percent stake in Fortescue Metals Group, a publicly traded Australian company that is the world’s fourth-largest iron ore producer.

The Kenyan government’s recent decision to collaborate with Forrest’s Fortescue comes nearly one month after Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed “Mo” Dewji questioned African governments about what was being done to mitigate the risks posed by food insecurity.

His remarks came after the World Bank revealed in an Oct. 4 report that the number of people facing severe food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa has risen dramatically, with more than one in every five people facing hunger and more than a quarter of a billion undernourished.

Food security crises are becoming more common, according to the World Bank, with 140 million people in the region expected to be acutely food insecure in 2022, up from 120 million in 2021.

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