Publicly owned generator Stanwell will partner with Japanese industrial company Iwatani Corporation to develop a three-gigawatt renewable hydrogen facility for large-scale production in Aldoga, central Queensland.
The export-scale facility will generate more than 5,000 jobs for regional Queenslanders, $4.2 billion in hydrogen exports and $10 billion for the state economy.
The announcement follows the launch of the state government’s $1.84B Queensland Jobs Fund, encouraging investment in Queensland and focusing on job-creating industries like renewable energy, hydrogen and manufacturing, deputy premier and minister for State Development Steven Miles said.
“The Stanwell-Iwatani project will be a key driver in central Queensland’s hydrogen supply chain and the significant manufacturing and investment potential it will unlock,” Miles said.
“Stanwell has now signed an option agreement with Economic Development Queensland locking in land for the facility, which is an exciting step towards the proposed project becoming a reality.
“The 236-hectare site at Aldoga was identified as the preferred location due to its size and proximity to port, power and pipeline infrastructure. Encouraging investment in job-creating industries like hydrogen is part of Queensland’s economic recovery plan,” he said.
Once built, the project will be the largest hydrogen production facility in Queensland, according to Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen minister Mick de Brenni.
“The development of a large-scale, renewable hydrogen supply chain in central Queensland will support the growth of renewables, create jobs and provide access to global export opportunities,” de Brenni said.
“We know countries like Japan are looking to the Sunshine State to meet their emissions targets and in the next decade, Queensland must be ready to capitalise.
“That’s exactly what the Stanwell-Iwatani project will do, scaling up to over 3,000 megawatts of electrolysis capacity by the early 2030s, with millions of tonnes of renewable hydrogen to be exported around the world,” he said.
“Locally, it will also benefit construction, utilities, heavy manufacturing and a range of local service industries.”
The site is close to the Queensland government’s proposed Central Queensland Renewable Energy Zone, which will provide access to renewable energy sources required to power the plant, Regional Development and Manufacturing minister and member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said.
“For the people of central Queensland, this announcement means jobs now in exploration, jobs during construction, jobs during export operations and jobs right through the manufacturing supply chain,” Butcher said.
“We’ll continue to invest in local skills and training opportunities, so our community is ready to take on these jobs of the future, while the hydrogen supply chain is being established.
“That investment includes $2M to upgrade training facilities at Gladstone State High School to prepare students for hydrogen jobs,” he said.
Stanwell has been investigating hydrogen opportunities since 2018, Stanwell acting CEO Adam Aspinall said.
“We recently completed a joint planning study for the project with Iwatani and we are now building a broader consortium of Japanese and Australian companies to progress the project to the next stage in the second half of 2021,” Aspinall said.
“As a business, we are progressing a range of future energy solutions to ensure we are in the best position possible to respond to changing market conditions.
“We are investigating a range of opportunities to incorporate technologies into our asset portfolio, including hydrogen, energy storage, wind, solar and bioenergy,” he said.