Port of Townsville - Hydrogen Export Plans Boost for Jobs

Wednesday, November 24, 2021


Townsville's bid to become a renewable hydrogen powerhouse has been strengthened with the signing of another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to investigate the process and feasibility of exporting hydrogen through the city's Port.

The Port of Townsville and Edify Energy Pty Ltd will today sign an MoU to work together to advance Edify's renewable hydrogen export project. 

The signing of the MoU follows Edify's recent development approval to build and operate a renewable hydrogen production plant with up to 1GW electrolyser for 5,000 - 150,000 H2 tonnes per year of renewable hydrogen at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, 46km south of Townsville.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said Queensland has a track record of creating energy export industry and the Palaszczuk Government was getting the investment settings right to capitalise on renewable hydrogen.

"We are positioning Queensland as a global powerhouse for clean energy exports and the decent, secure jobs that will create for Queenslanders," Mr de Brenni said.

"Renewable hydrogen will boost construction, utilities, heavy manufacturing, and a range of local service industries.

"That equals more jobs in more regional industry in Townsville and across the state."

Assistant Minister for Hydrogen Development and the 50% Renewable Energy Target by 2030 Lance McCallum said Queensland is fast becoming a renewables superpower.

"Queensland renewables mean more highly skilled jobs, both now and in the industries of the future.

"Our publicly owned ports are essential to exporting our renewable hydrogen to the world."

Member for Mundingburra and Hydrogen Champion Les Walker said agreements like this positioned Townsville as a green hydrogen powerhouse.

"Townsville is well placed to take advantage of this growing industry, particularly as the world looks toward alternative energies," Mr Walker said.

"We have the facilities at the Port of Townsville to export hydrogen, our workers have the skills and the city is primed to take advantage of the new jobs which will come from this emerging industry."

"This announcement also shows the importance of the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct which is why the Palaszczuk Government is investing in the site."

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper welcomed the agreement between Edify Energy and the Port of Townsville.

"This agreement, among a number of others the Port of Townsville has signed, show the confidence major companies have in the potential for hydrogen in the city," Mr Harper said.

"As a government we're backing the hydrogen industry because we know there are huge opportunities in this emerging industry and it will create new jobs.

"That's why the Palaszczuk Government is investing in the $232 million channel upgrade at the Port of Townsville because we know there are real opportunities to grow the port and bring new industries to the city."

Edify Chief Executive Officer John Cole said Townsville's existing infrastructure and industry was well placed to establish a renewable hydrogen production and export industry. 

"We are excited to be working with the Port of Townsville and other project proponents in the region.  This MoU is another milestone for our project on its path to exporting renewable hydrogen and for Townsville's journey to establishing sustainable long-term jobs and industry," he said.

"Using a renewable energy source to produce large-scale green hydrogen means Townsville will be perfectly poised to be North Queensland's hydrogen hub and export capital on the east coast.  This is where future proofed jobs are created, new skills are learned, existing industries and infrastructure leveraged, manufacturing and communities thrive."

Port of Townsville Chief Executive Officer Ranee Crosby said North Queensland is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the world's growing demand for hydrogen, presenting significant opportunities for the region.

"Hydrogen made with renewable energy is completely carbon free and is a flexible energy carrier that can power almost anything that requires energy," said Ms Crosby.

"This versatility, partnered with Townsville's global connectivity and highly-skilled workforce, represents boundless opportunities to align the North's economic prosperity with global ambitions to transition to a clean energy future."

"The Port recently released our Port Vision 2050 – our roadmap for the next 30 years – which has a strong emphasis on action on climate change and committing to a climate positive future.

"Facilitating the production, usage and export of green hydrogen is one of the Port's key strategic goals."

Edify Energy joins a growing list of proponents seeking to export renewable hydrogen through the Port of Townsville, including Origin Energy and Ark Energy Corporation.