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Gladstone hydrogen hub in $539.2m national renewables plan

Gladstone’s push to be at the pinnacle of the global renewable hydrogen industry continues to solidify with news the city will be one of five ‘hubs’ in the Federal Government’s $539.2 million clean hydrogen and carbon capture technologies program.

The port city’s skilled workforce, port and gas infrastructure, proximity to energy resources and large scale industrial demand factors resulted in Gladstone being listed as a ‘highly prospective’ hub location.

The announcement follows the progressive development of Hydrogen Park Gladstone and the March agreement between Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, and multiple local and national partners, to develop the world’s first hydrogen ecosystem at Gladstone.

Sumitomo Corporation Australia Managing Director Mr Yoshikazu 'Cash' Ishikawa addresses the launch of the Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem project. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Sumitomo Corporation Australia Managing Director Mr Yoshikazu 'Cash' Ishikawa addresses the launch of the Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem project. Picture: Rodney Stevens

The government’s two-pronged renewable energy approach will invest $275.5 million into hydrogen hubs and a clean hydrogen certification scheme, with the remaining funding to carbon related projects.

Nominated ‘highly prospective’ locations for hydrogen hubs are Bell Bay (TAS), Pilbara (WA), Gladstone (QLD), La Trobe Valley (VIC), Eyre Peninsula (Whyalla – SA), Hunter Valley (NSW), and Darwin (NT).

Developing carbon capture, use and storage CCS CCUS projects that will support industry, create jobs, help cut emissions and drive investment will attract $263.7 million.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the world was changing rapidly and Australia would need to be competitive in a new energy economy to support the jobs of Australians, especially in heavy industries and regional areas that depended on affordable and reliable energy.

“It is essential we position Australia to succeed by investing now in the technologies that will support our industries into the future, with lower emissions energy that can support Australian jobs,” the Prime Minister said.

Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni, MP Lance McCallum and Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Minister, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher at a hydrogen BBQ at Queensland parliament Speakers Green.
Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni, MP Lance McCallum and Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Minister, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher at a hydrogen BBQ at Queensland parliament Speakers Green.

“We want to make clean energy more affordable and reliable, while looking for ways our investments can get more people into work.

“We cannot pretend the world is not changing.

“If we do, we run the risk of stranding jobs in this country, especially in regional areas.

“Australia can and will continue to meet and beat our emissions reduction commitments, while protecting and growing jobs, by commercialising low emissions technologies like hydrogen and CCS/CCUS, that can support our industries and critical economic sectors.

“When we commercialise those technologies, they also create new jobs.

“Low emissions industries mean more jobs directly for workers, but also cheaper energy means lower costs to businesses that they can reinvest in hiring more people.

“Our technology-first approach will see Australia achieve its emissions reduction goals while continuing to grow our export industries and also supporting our trading partners’ efforts to decarbonise.”

Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the government was backing practical, technological solutions to reduce emissions, not big new taxes.

Australian Gas Infrastructure Group Executive General Manager People and Strategy Craig de Laine addresses the launch of the Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem project. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Australian Gas Infrastructure Group Executive General Manager People and Strategy Craig de Laine addresses the launch of the Gladstone Hydrogen Ecosystem project. Picture: Rodney Stevens

“We are backing technology to meet our 2030 target and get to net zero,” Minister Taylor said.

“The government’s investment will reduce technical and commercial barriers to deploying these technologies.

“It will encourage new large-scale investment from the private sector, creating jobs and supporting Australia’s economic recovery, particularly in regional areas.

“It’s a tangible example of our commitment to being a low emissions technology leader and reducing emissions through technology not taxes, or imposing costs on households, businesses or the economy.

“Australia’s potential to supply our trading partners with low cost, clean energy and permanently and safely store emissions underground has our trading partners, including Japan, South Korea and Singapore excited.”

The renewable hydrogen and carbon capture program is part of the Federal Government’s $18 billion Technology Investment Roadmap, aimed at supporting 130,000 jobs by 2030.

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