Fortescue to buy Williams Advanced Engineering for £164 million
By Julian Buckley25 January 2022
Australian mining company Fortescue is to buy the battery and technology division of the Williams Formula One racing team for £164 million ($222 million).
UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) is owned by EMK Capital and Williams Grand Prix Engineering.
The goal of the deal is to help Fortescue Metals to achieve its target of being carbon neutral by 2030.
WAE will be integrated into Fortescue’s clean energy unit. The mining company is reported to have been developing a battery for heavy industrial use since early in 2021.
One of the first projects to be developed will be a battery-powered freight train, together with heavy industrial equipment and haulage trucks.
“This announcement is the key to unlocking the formula for removing fossil fuel-powered machinery and replacing it with zero carbon emission technology,” said Andrew Forrest, Fortescue’s founder and chairman.
Forrest is reported to be Australia’s richest person, with an estimated net worth of £13.3 billion ($18 billion). He is aiming to transform the world’s fourth-largest iron ore producer into a leading clean energy producer.
WAE was set up in 2010 by the Williams racing team to develop low carbon technologies for vehicles. This included development of a battery pack chassis which could serve as the basis for a variety of vehicles.