In what the Queensland government believes is Australia’s biggest investment in green hydrogen so far – almost $117 million — has been made by the Queensland and federal governments and a consortium to fund the front-end engineering design for the Central Queensland Hydrogen (CQ-H2) project at Gladstone. When completed, the engineering design will bring the project closer to a final decision, expected late next year. Green hydrogen can decarbonize oil and gas, manufacturing, heavy haulage, shipping, aviation, heat induction bending services, and other industries. The project will be powered by renewable energy and is expected to produce 200 tons of hydrogen a day by 2028, rising to 800 tons a day by 2031. That is equivalent to fueling more than double Australia’s fleet of heavy vehicles. The hydrogen needs to be liquified or converted to ammonia for export and potentially local industry offtake.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide $20 million in funding, $15 million will be from the Palaszczuk Government and the remainder $81.8 million from consortium partners which are passionate about green hydrogen. These consortium partners are: Iwatani Corporation (Japan), Kansai Electric Power Company (Japan), Marubeni Corporation (Japan), Keppel Infrastructure (Singapore) and Queensland’s publicly owned Stanwell Corporation. Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, said projects such as this are critical to scaling up Australia’s green hydrogen industry. “The government is committed to making Australia a global hydrogen leader. Projects like the CQ-H2 Project could lead the way in exporting renewable hydrogen to the international market.
“Japan, Korea and China are three of our largest trading partners and have all made clear commitments to increase the use of hydrogen, with a focus on establishing international supply chains for imports,” said Minister Bowen. Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk said the international partnership highlights Queensland’s position as a global hydrogen heavyweight. “Because of the investments we’re making, the Queensland economy will reap the benefits of the global clean energy transition, while ensuring Queensland has more and cheaper, cleaner renewable energy to power our businesses and homes,” she said. Developing a green hydrogen export industry in Gladstone will create significant economic opportunities for Queensland: project is expected to create almost 9,000 jobs, including in the steel fabrication industry, and over $17.2 billion in hydrogen exports in its 30-year life.
Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said it was the largest green hydrogen investment of its kind in the nation’s history. “It is … an endorsement of the Palaszczuk Government’s Energy and Jobs Plan,” he said. “The Palaszczuk Government is working hard to drive the state’s hydrogen industry forward, to create highly skilled jobs, especially in regional Queensland. “That’s why, through the Treasury’s Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund, we invested $15 million into this stage of the project.” The Queensland government believes the public-private partnership in the CQ-H2 project is within the top 10 hydrogen projects in the world, which includes the EU plan to replace Russian fuel with hydrogen. The project will complement other planned investments in a renewable hydrogen industry in the Gladstone region, including the Commonwealth Government’s Regional Hydrogen Hubs program. Michael O’Rourke, CEO of government owned energy generator and provider Stanwell Corporation said the project could create thousands of jobs and deliver billions of dollars in economic benefit. “We are proud to be leading the CQ-H2 project with our partners, which demonstrates our commitment to driving the development of Queensland’s hydrogen industry and other new technologies.