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Fortescue and Queensland Plan One of World’s Largest Hydrogen Equipment Manufacturing Hubs for Gladstone

By October 10, 2021 6   min read  (1047 words)

October 10, 2021 |

Fuel Cells Works, Fortescue and Queensland Plan One of World’s Largest Hydrogen Equipment Manufacturing Hubs for Gladstone

One of the world’s largest hydrogen-equipment manufacturing facility is planned for Gladstone as part of a new partnership between the Palaszczuk Government and leading renewable energy and hydrogen company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI).

Jobs numbers are expected to exceed 300 over the life of the project. The partnership announced today is expected to create thousands of jobs in years to come.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said as a result of the partnership, Gladstone would become a world leading hub for the manufacture of electrolysers – vital to the production of renewable hydrogen.

“We’re seeing growing interest globally in renewable hydrogen,” the Premier said.

“We don’t just want to export our resources – we want to develop a manufacturing industry capable of making the electrolysers in Queensland as well.

“Andrew Forrest and I both see Queensland’s great potential as a renewables exporter and manufacturer of hydrogen equipment.

“This partnership will create local jobs, support our economic recovery and create an advanced manufacturing industry in Gladstone that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the country.”

In its initial stage, this $114 million investment from Fortescue Future Industries will create 120 construction jobs and 53 operational jobs.

Jobs numbers are expected to exceed 300 over the life of the project.

“We have a strategy to partner with the private sector to make Queensland a world leader in advanced manufacturing and hydrogen generation,” the Premier said.

“This is a great boost to Queensland’s growing credentials as an emerging superpower in renewable hydrogen.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the deal was a boost for Queensland’s growing credentials as an emerging superpower in renewable hydrogen.

“We will create more jobs in Queensland by capturing industrial and manufacturing opportunities from the global decarbonisation momentum,” Mr Miles said.

“The Palaszczuk Government and FFI are both demonstrating global leadership to develop renewable hydrogen.

“FFI will now progress plans to build a facility on land developed by the Queensland Government at Aldoga within the Gladstone State Development Area.

“FFI will construct a facility with an initial capacity to manufacture up to two gigawatts (GW) of electrolysers annually.

“Future plans are to expand both electrolyser manufacturing and other renewable energy components, which is expected to support other regional investment including in hydrogen production.

“This project will put Gladstone on the map as a world leader in the renewable-hydrogen supply chain.”

Hydrogen electrolysers use power to split hydrogen from water. When produced using renewable power the hydrogen is emission free.

Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier that can be used for energy storage, as a feedstock for industrial processes, to produce heat and for a wide range of transport applications.

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said developing a renewable hydrogen industry was a vital next step in maintaining Queensland’s dominance as a global energy superpower.

“Our economic recovery plan is all about creating more jobs and creating more opportunities for traditional and emerging industries, particularly in manufacturing,” the Treasurer said.

“FFI could have built this facility anywhere in Australia.

“The fact they chose Queensland says volumes about our state’s advanced plan to use our sun, wind and water to create new jobs and new businesses in regional Queensland.

“We are harnessing the momentum of the massive revolution that is underway in global energy production, and we are doing it for the benefit of all Queenslanders.

“I want to congratulate the Queensland Government officials who have put so much time and effort into securing this agreement with FFI.

“Whether it’s FFI, Boeing or Rheinmetall, the Palaszczuk Government is focused on bringing new industries with secure, highly skilled jobs to Queensland, with targeted investments driving the next wave of economic growth.”

FFI Chairman and Founder, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, said, “As GEM develops according to FFI’s own requirements and other customer needs, manufacturing will come roaring back to regional Australia, creating many thousands of jobs.

“Fortescue is again ahead of the curve and we are immensely proud to be pioneering a Green Energy Manufacturing Centre in Gladstone.

“This initiative is a critical step in Fortescue’s transition from a highly successful pure play iron ore producer to an even more successful green renewables and resources powerhouse.”

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said manufacturing hydrogen and the equipment needed to produce it would mean Queensland would export its renewable energy as well as its technological know-how.

“The world is rapidly decarbonising and that presents new opportunities for more jobs here in Queensland,” Mr de Brenni said

“Onshoring manufacture of hydrogen industry components means enduring benefits for Queenslanders all the way through the value chain, as part of the global industrial transformation.

“As well as exports, the products Queensland tradies will make will open up new industrial activity across the state, fuelling domestic industrial hubs and enabling the decarbonisation of sectors like heavy transport.”

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the announcement cemented Gladstone’s place as the Australian capital of the rapidly developing hydrogen industry.

“This is another huge vote of confidence in Gladstone’s ability grow new industries and export the products to the world,” Mr Butcher said.

“We’ve already seen it with the LNG industry and the growing renewable hydrogen industry will further enhance Gladstone’s – and the region’s – reputation.”

The proposal is subject to land use planning and development approvals.

Queensland’s other recent hydrogen industry initiatives include the formation of a consortium, which includes generator Stanwell and Japan’s largest hydrogen supplier Iwatani, proposing to export $4.2 billion in renewable hydrogen from Gladstone, supporting 5000 jobs.

Sumitomo Corporation has also formalised its partnership with Gladstone Ports Corporation, Gladstone Regional Council, CQUniversity Australia and Australian Gas Infrastructure Group to develop Australia’s first hydrogen ecosystem in Central Queensland.

In Townsville, the Queensland Government is working with Sun Metals on their immediate plans to use hydrogen in their refinery operations and trucking fleet and their ambitions to move zinc refinery operations to 100% renewable energy by 2040.

In addition to a diverse range of domestic projects that are progressing, hydrogen export facilities are also being investigated at a large number of Queensland’s ports including the Port of Gladstone, Port of Townsville and Port of Hay Point, south of Mackay.

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