The hunt is on to find the hydrogen skills and businesses to join the renewable fuel supply chain that will create jobs in Toowoomba and the Western Downs.
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni today announced a partnership between publicly-owned power generator CS Energy and Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise to increase local participation in the hydrogen industry.
The six month project will map and uncover the capability and potential of local businesses to support a hydrogen supply chain, creating a new online supplier portal.
“This online tool will provide valuable information on local capability and identify opportunities for local businesses in the supply chain allowing them to upskill, as well as attract new organisations to the region,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Hydrogen presents an incredible opportunity in Queensland to create jobs and decarbonise our economy. Support for renewables like hydrogen is a key part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic.
“One of our State’s biggest assets is a highly skilled, motivated, and employment-ready workforce.
“We are home to internationally recognised universities and skills training institutes, and our lifestyle is instrumental in retaining highly skilled workers.
“This competitive advantage helped Queensland to develop the local capability and supply chains that underpin our global liquefied natural gas export industry, and we can do it again with hydrogen.
“Developing that workforce starts with investing in skills and training, and as one of the first States to release a hydrogen strategy in 2019, Queensland is already ahead of the game.
“The Palaszczuk Government is taking action to develop the skills and supply chain to establish a thriving hydrogen production and export industry in Queensland, a key part of our COVID-19 recovery plan.
“Developing local capability is how we will position Queensland in a multi-billion-dollar industry, and the Palaszczuk Government is focussed on developing it in regional areas around ports and industrial clusters.”
The six-month project will complement CS Energy’s joint feasibility study with IHI Corporation Japan on the establishment of a renewable hydrogen demonstration plant next to Kogan Creek Power Station near Chinchilla.
Mr de Brenni said the project follows the Palaszczuk Government’s $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund announced in the State Budget.
“Our Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019-2024 is focussed on developing Queensland’s hydrogen industry to create jobs, including investing in four training centres that would skill up a hydrogen workforce – $20M towards Stage 2 of the Queensland Apprenticeships Centre at Beenleigh, $10.6M for a Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Training facility at Bohle TAFE campus in Townsville, $17M towards the Pinkenba Renewable Energy Training Facility and $2M to upgrade training facilities at Gladstone State High School,” he said.
TSBE CEO Ali Davenport said the online portal project would set a high benchmark for other projects and industries.
“This mapping project will collect data to help us get a big picture view of local capability and provide information that will open the door for further discussions around training and upskilling for the future,” Ms Davenport said.
“It will help ensure that local companies are able to understand the opportunities around hydrogen and develop their capability to service this growing market.”
CS Energy CEO Andrew Bills said CS Energy is providing funding and in-kind support towards the TSBE project, which is expected to be completed in six months.
“Upon completion, the comprehensive mapping process will provide CS Energy with extensive information on regional businesses and their capability,” Mr Bills said.
“As we prepare to progress our hydrogen demonstration project proposal to the next stage, this local business ‘intel’ will be invaluable.”