Site secured for Central Queensland hydrogen project

Wooden blocks with H2 for hydrogen printed on them (Renewable Hydrogen Master Plan)
Image: Shutterstock

A three-gigawatt renewable hydrogen facility in Central Queensland is one step closer with land secured for large-scale production in Aldoga, west of Gladstone.

Publicly-owned generator Stanwell is partnering with Japanese industrial heavyweight Iwatani Corporation to develop the export-scale facility, creating more than 5000 jobs for regional Queenslanders.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the project could generate $4.2 billion in hydrogen exports and $10 billion for the Queensland economy.

Mr Miles said the announcement follows the launch of the Palaszczuk Government’s $1.84 billion Queensland Jobs Fund, encouraging investment in Queensland and focusing on job-creating industries like renewable energy, hydrogen and manufacturing.  

“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,” he 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.”

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Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni said once built, the project would be the largest hydrogen production facility in Queensland.

“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,” he 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.

“Locally, it will also benefit construction, utilities, heavy manufacturing and a range of local service industries.”

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the site is close to the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed Central Queensland Renewable Energy Zone, which will provide access to renewable energy sources required to power the plant.

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“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,” Minister 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 $2 million to upgrade training facilities at Gladstone State High School to prepare students for hydrogen jobs.”

Acting Stanwell CEO Adam Aspinall said Stanwell had been investigating hydrogen opportunities since 2018.

“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,” he 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.”