Australia Commits Funding for Groundbreaking 3 GW Green Hydrogen Project

Australia Commits Funding for Groundbreaking 3 GW Green Hydrogen Project

Australia has announced funding for a groundbreaking green hydrogen project, signaling its commitment to becoming a leading green hydrogen producer. The federal and Queensland governments, along with a consortium of Australian and Japanese energy companies, will invest AUD 117 million ($76 million) in the Central Queensland Hydrogen (CQ-H2) project in Gladstone, Queensland. This marks the largest investment of its kind in Australia’s history.

The CQ-H2 project, led by Stanwell, a Queensland-government owned generator, in collaboration with Iwatani, Kansai Electric Power Corporation, Marubeni, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and APA Group, aims to develop 3 GW of electrolyser capacity capable of producing up to 800 tonnes of green hydrogen per day for export to Japan and domestic use.

The consortium partners have committed $81.8 million to fund the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for the project. Additionally, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide AUD 20 million in funding, while the Queensland government will contribute AUD 15 million. The study will also explore the establishment of a hydrogen liquefaction facility in Gladstone’s port, with a target production capacity of 400 tons per day of liquefied hydrogen for export by 2030.

Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen stated that the successful completion of the FEED will bring the project closer to a final investment decision, expected in late 2024. He emphasized the significance of projects like CQ-H2 in scaling up Australia’s green hydrogen industry and positioning the country as a global hydrogen leader.

The CQ-H2 project, located in Aldoga, near Gladstone, will initially involve the installation of up to 640 MW of electrolysers, producing 73,000 tons of green hydrogen annually by 2028. The electrolyser capacity will then be expanded to 3 GW, generating 292,000 tons per year by 2031. The hydrogen will be liquefied or converted to ammonia for export and potential use in local industries.

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ARENA CEO Darren Miller highlighted the project’s potential to establish a renewable hydrogen hub in Gladstone, contributing to the decarbonization of heavy industries in the region. He emphasized the need for Australia to develop large-scale hydrogen production facilities at competitive prices to capitalize on export opportunities to Asia.

Queensland Energy Minister Mick de Brenni emphasized the economic potential of the CQ-H2 project, projecting the creation of nearly 9,000 jobs and over AUD 17.2 billion in hydrogen exports over its 30-year lifespan. He highlighted Queensland’s ambition to leverage its abundant renewable resources to lead the green hydrogen industry.

The funding for the FEED follows a successful AUD 10.4 million feasibility study, which demonstrated the technical and commercial viability of the CQ-H2 project with government support during the initial phases. Stanwell has already secured a site for the hydrogen production base, and a separate site at the Port of Gladstone will be acquired for hydrogen liquefaction and loading purposes. A memorandum of understanding has also been signed to establish a direct connection between the hydrogen production facility and Acciona Energia’s planned Aldoga Solar Farm. Construction of the solar farm is set to begin later this year, with power generation expected to commence in December 2025.

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