Australia’s richest man’s COVID reveal
Australia's richest man has revealed he contracted COVID-19 while travelling around the world last year to secure new renewable energy projects for one of the country's biggest miners.
Fortescue Metals chairman Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest confirmed he contracted the virus from a Russian translator in Uzbekistan and postponed the rest of his planned Central Asia leg before spending three days in a Swiss hospital.
The four month tour, which consisted of 47 countries and occurred in the height of a pandemic that has halted global travel, was part of the miner's ambitious targets to curb emissions from operations.
But the round-the-world trip was cut short after the translator tested positive.
The Fortescue Metals entourage subsequently flew to Croatia for medical treatment.
Mr Forrest was later evacuated to a Swiss Hospital where he spent three days in a specialised respiratory clinic.
"I'm grateful that our apparatuses, systems technologies and precautions kept my team safe," Mr Forrest said in an interview with the Australian Financial Review.
"I would rather have not caught COVID but it hasn't harmed me. I'm still as fit as a fiddle but the big thing is that it enabled us to put together a suite of assets to create a supply of renewable fuels and products which could rival the fossil-fuel sector."
Mr Forrest returned to Perth in the new year after quarantining in Sydney for 14 days.
His fortune has hit a near $28bn due to soaring iron ore prices being propped up by strong demand from the Chinese economy.
Fortescue Metals has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and look to use hydrogen in the manufacturing of steel to reduce the material's carbon footprint.
Originally published as Australia's richest man's COVID reveal