Thousands of QLD jobs to be created through new hydrogen project

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Origin Energy and the Port of Townsville for a possible port expansion as well as delivery of facilities and upgrades associated with hydrogen export. 

With this agreement, a significant boost to North Queensland’s hydrogen future and the creation of thousands of regional jobs are a step closer. In addition, the proposed developments at the Port of Townsville will support the State’s plan for economic recovery following the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Part of that plan is supporting regional economies to provide jobs growth in places like Townsville and North Queensland. 

“We said we’d continue to build Queensland’s hydrogen industry and that’s exactly what we’re doing because that means jobs. 

“The MoU signed today highlights North Queensland’s importance as a vital link in the supply chain needed for Queensland to become a major renewable hydrogen producer and supplier,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. 

The Premier added that the State Government has invested in a $232 million port channel upgrade as well as a $40 million Berth 4 upgrade and $48 million intermodal facility, ensuring that the port “remains a premier gateway for the north”. 

“We have a proven track record for building infrastructure needed to support major industries like we did with LNG. 

“Part of the reason Townsville’s was established was its capacity as a major port and supplier of the services needed for the north’s agricultural and resources industries. 

“Fast forward to today and this is a region that had the local skills, construction know-how and scientific expertise to put Queensland on the world map for hydrogen,” Government Hydrogen Champion and Mundingburra MP Les Walker said. 

The signing of the MoU demonstrates how the State’s publicly-owned ports are playing an important role in making Queensland an international hub for the hydrogen industry and jobs. 

“The Port of Townsville is already well positioned as a major goods hub of the North and upgrades will have it ready for additional future capacity. 

“These investments in the port combined with adjacent land in the State Development Area provide growth opportunities for both existing and emerging industries including hydrogen,” Transport Minister and Acting Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mark Bailey said. 

Furthermore, the MoU will help generate future opportunities for new and secure jobs for Queenslanders. 

“Today’s MoU formally adds the Port of Townsville to this mix and confirms the essential role our proudly publicly owned ports will play in Queensland’s hydrogen journey,” Assistant Minister for Hydrogen Development Lance McCallum said. 

Origin Energy is collaborating with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to deliver a 300MW early export project that has a capacity to produce 36,500 tonnes of green liquid hydrogen a year with the use of renewable energy and sustainable water. 

Townsville has been chosen as the ideal location to develop a liquid hydrogen facility due to several factors including the availability of a deep water port, industrial-zoned land, skilled workers and a renewable energy and sustainable water resources nearby. 

“This is one of the most advanced commercial scale green liquid hydrogen projects in the world, and we and our partners are looking forward to commencing front end engineering and design (FEED) this calendar year. 

“Origin’s MoU with the Port of Townsville is an important and exciting next step in the process,” General Manager Future Fuels at Origin Felicity Underhill said. 

According to Port of Townsville Chair Renita Garard, Townsville is an ideal location for renewable hydrogen production because of its potential for export to nearby Asian markets. 

“This is an extremely exciting project to be part of as the global demand for hydrogen is gaining momentum every day. 

“Townsville enjoys more than 320 days of sunshine and the region has several established renewable energy developments with the renewable energy potential and regional partners progressing new hydrogen technology every day,” Ms Garard said. 

This content was originally published here.

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