Bill Gates brings Andrew Forrest into green energy venture fund backed by big name billionaires

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Daniel NewellThe West Australian
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Fortescue Metals Group founder and chairman Andrew Forrest.
Camera IconFortescue Metals Group founder and chairman Andrew Forrest. Credit: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

WA iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest has reportedly tipped $US50 million ($66m) into a Bill Gates-led venture capital fund that will bankroll emerging carbon-cutting technologies around the world.

Mr Forrest will be joined in the fund by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Virgin’s Richard Branson, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and LinkedIn executive chairman Reid Hoffman, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The Breakthrough Energy Ventures board will be headed by Mr Gates and will include Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

Fortescue Metals Group founder Mr Forrest — who was reportedly approached by Mr Gates — has made no secret of his plans to turn the iron ore empire into a beacon of global clean energy production such as green hydrogen.

Mr Forrest is believed to have contributed at least the minimum $50m buy in through his family’s private investment arm, Tattarang.

Tattarang chief investment officer John Hartman told the AFR that BEV would invest in companies advancing the technologies needed by the world to make the shift to a net-zero emission economy.

“We are going to need significant breakthroughs in several key industrial technologies such as green steel, green cement, renewable hydrogen,” he told the newspaper.

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