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MoU proposes new hydrogen export facility in Hay Point

hydrogen export facility

The Queensland government is supporting a plan to export renewable energy and boost regional jobs with a proposal for a hydrogen export facility at the Port of Hay Point, south of Mackay. 

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP), owned by the Queensland government, joined Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure, Brookfield and international trading company ITOCHU Corporation to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the hydrogen proposal. 

The MoU will allow for work to start on concepts to build a renewable hydrogen production, storage and export facility within the Hay Point port precinct. 

The state government’s focus on renewable energy, hydrogen and manufacturing is part of Queensland’s Covid-19 economic recovery plan. 

“That plan is about supporting regional economies through targeted investments that support job-creation and workforce development,” minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said. 

“Hydrogen presents an incredible opportunity to create jobs and decarbonise our economy. Our $2 billion Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund is about working with industry to encourage investment in emerging industries like hydrogen. 

“We’ve demonstrated our commitment to that end by backing a plan and securing a site for a three-gigawatt renewable hydrogen facility in Aldoga, west of Gladstone. We’re supporting studies to establish a renewable hydrogen demonstration plant next to Kogan Creek Power Station near Chinchilla,” he said. 

“And we’re also working with business groups to develop local workforce capability and supply chains in hydrogen, as we’ve done previously with our global liquefied natural gas export industry.” 

Queensland’s publicly-owned ports need to be ready to capitalise on the future demand for exported hydrogen from international trading partners. 

“Queensland is already a leading energy exporter and the world is now looking to us to become a leading producer of hydrogen as the next energy source,” Transport and Main Roads minister Mark Bailey said. 

“Renewable hydrogen can be stored and used over time, and as a future fuel source, is one of the most promising solutions for reducing global emissions, particularly in the transport and heavy industry sectors. 

“Earlier this year, we signed an agreement to develop a liquid hydrogen facility at the Port of Townsville. Hay Point is a critical part of our state’s supply chain and Queensland’s economy, connecting regional Queensland to power, food and steel industries in Asia,” he said. 

“Agreements like this allow us to prepare the port to meet the energy needs of developing industries across the globe.” 

The move to investigate hydrogen production and exports is also positive news for jobs in the Mackay region. 

“More than 20,000 mining, farming and transport jobs are supported by the trade that passes through Hay Point,” Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said. 

“Hay Point makes an incredibly important contribution to our state’s economy, so this agreement will ensure the port is well positioned to take advantage of new export opportunities that arise on the back of investment in Queensland’s energy sector.” 

NQBP is excited to work with the existing stakeholders and new proponents and explore opportunities for hydrogen at Hay Point. 

“As part of our planning, we want to ensure new trades such as hydrogen can co-exist at our ports alongside our existing trades,” NQBP CEO Nicolas Fertin said. 

“This is part of preparing for the decarbonisation of overseas industries and markets so that our ports can support the potential development of new trades that foster the economic development of our region.” 

The MoU is the first step in what will be a thorough and considered process. 

“We are at an early stage of possible developments, with future steps involving further feasibility studies, consulting with community, traditional owners and regulators,” Fertin said. 

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